The warmer months are upon us and we have to start thinking Hot Weather Safety for our precious pets. Here are a few safety tips/reminders to help us keep our faithful companions safe and cool during these "dog days of summer".
Fun in the Sun
- Make sure your pet has protection from heat and sun (a dog house does not provide relief from heat) and plenty of fresh water when outdoors. Heat stroke can be fatal for pets as well as people.
- With more time being spent outside, make sure your pet is always wearing a collar with identification tag.
- Pets sunburn too – use sunscreen on his nose and ears if necessary. Pets with light-colored noses or fur are especially vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer.
- Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours and be especially careful with short-nosed dogs and those with thick coats. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.
- Providing water for your dog is always important, but it is especially critical during hot weather. If your dog is inside during the day, make sure you supply fresh, cool water that remains in a shaded spot, since the sun coming through the window can heat a bowl of water.
- If your dog is outside during the day, make sure his water bowl isn't in a place where he will tip it over. Water bowls can be tipped over by dogs trying to make a cool spot to lay down. Also, make sure he has a shady place he can get relief from the sun. Kiddie pools are a nice way to give dogs their own clean puddle in which to cool off and play. Always, always make sure he has an ample supply of fresh, cool water.
- Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car. This is one of the most life-threatening mistakes people can make for their pets. On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to dangerous levels in minutes, even with the windows slightly open.
- Dogs can't perspire as humans do to cool themselves off via evaporation, so they have to pant to cool themselves. If the air they are taking in is too hot (as in a parked car on a warm/hot day), then panting has little cooling effect and the dog quickly overheats. Even with the windows open, the car can quickly become hot enough to cause heatstroke, brain damage, and even death. If you see an animal in a parked car in the summer, alert the management of the shopping area or grocery store. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police.
- The best advice would is, please leave your pets at home during hot weather.