Top Five Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in Summer Heat:
- Exercise with Caution: Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but show extra care to older and overweight pets that are more at risk in high temperatures. Limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Extra caution should also be taken with short-nosed dogs and those with thick coats.
- Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Heatstroke: Dogs can develop heatstroke quickly. Signs include excessive panting, staring, anxious facial expressions, warm skin, refusal to obey commands by owner, vomiting, collapse and rapid heartbeat. If your pet develops these signs, lower their body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body.
- NEVER Leave Your Dog Unattended in the Car: Just 15 minutes in a hot car can cause serious damage or result in a dog's death. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, record the car's color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings or call local humane authorities or police. Always have someone keep an eye on the dog and don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.
- Don’t Forget the Sunscreen: Just like us, cats and dogs can get sunburned too, especially if they have light-colored hair. Animal sunburns can cause peeling, redness, and even cancer. Purchasing pet-friendly sunscreen can go a long way in protecting the health of your pet. Places that are easy to forget, but prone to burning are: inside the nostrils, the tip of the nose, around your dog’s lips and the inside of ears for dogs with standup ears.
- Pets Need Extra Water - But Don’t Let Them Drink Just Anything: It is important to give your pet extra water during the summer heat, but be sure not to leave the water out for too long. Changing the water regularly prevents your pet from getting sick from bacteria even in room temperature water. Dogs are bound to drink something they shouldn't when thirsty. Puddles of what may look like water on the ground can be full of dangerous chemicals, so keep an eye out and make sure they always know where to find safe water to drink.