How to keep your pets safe in hot weather by Jacqueline Valencia
The summers seem to be getting hotter. We carry sunblock and bottled water for ourselves, but what are we doing for our pets? Just as you would look at the weather forecast before you head out, you have to make sure your pet is prepared for the rising temps. Luckily, there are many methods and products that help with that.
First things first, never keep your pet in a car or confined space during hot weather. It doesn’t matter if you keep the window slightly open or leave your dog with water, the temperature inside a car rises very fast. If you need to go shopping or visit someone, just leave your pet in your air-conditioned home. A lot of places can be pet friendly, so I also suggest calling ahead to ask about their pet policy. Many hardware and clothing stores can be very accommodating. Since it’s summer, a lot of patios can also be dog friendly.
If you’re going out for a walk with your dog, make sure to carry a water supply for them. There are many portable dog dishes out there. Ice cubes are good to keep if close to home or in a cooler for them. Cooling pads and bandanas (something else you can keep, a cold pack or ice cube in!) are good to take on your walks. It’s also important to check the pavement you’ll be walking on. Put your hand to the street and if it’s too hot for your palm, postpone your walk for later in the cooler times of the day or keep to the grass. Little paw pads can get easily burnt. You can also consider getting your dog some pup shoes if you are unsure of the safety of the ground temps. Limit all outside exercise if you find everything too hot for your pet.
This is all to say that while animals handle themselves great in the wild, dogs, cats, birds, and whatever pet you have, are susceptible to heat stroke. At home, make sure the air conditioning is on or that your pet is located in a shaded spot, (but best bet is an air-conditioned area). Keep extra water handy for them.
Look out for any signs of heatstroke which include:
Shaking or shivering
If your pet shows any signs of heatstroke, run some cool water over them, then call and take them to the vet immediately.
It goes without saying, prepare for power outages and weather-related catastrophes. Just as you would make plans for yourself, create a hot weather safety plan for your fur pal.
- Photo by Alvin Balemesa on Unsplash
- Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
- Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash