Our friends at Best Friends Animal Society have these suggestions on protecting our pets from the heat this summer!
- Keep pets indoors during the day. It may sound obvious but it’s hottest outside when the sun is up. Quick walks and bathroom breaks are fine but try to keep your pet in the shade.
- If pets do spend time outside during the day, ensure that they have access to shade at all hours of the day. Dogs on tethers are especially vulnerable because they could become tangled out of reach of shade or water. Grass and greenery help keep the yard cooler too.
- Provide pets with fresh, cool water at all times. During the heat of summer, water should be dumped and refilled often. Most dogs won’t drink hot water no matter how thirsty they are.
- Exercise dogs during the cooler morning or evening hours, not in the intense afternoon heat. Dogs who are older or overweight, have a thick coat or a pushed-in nose--like bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs--are especially at risk of overheating. Bring water for both you and your pet, or a collapsible bowl if there’s a water source on your route.
- Be aware of the temperature of the sidewalk, asphalt, sand or even packed dirt as these can cause burns to your pet’s paw pads if they are too hot.
- Consult a veterinarian about whether your pet needs a pet-approved sunscreen on exposed areas. Dogs with bald patches or minimal coats may need sunscreen, as well as dogs like Nordic breeds who are prone to auto-immune related sun diseases.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Even with the windows partway down, even in the shade, even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.