It goes without saying that you should not leave your pets outside for long periods of time when the weather is hot, but there are a number of ways to keep your pets safe in the heat. These tips go for dog and cat owners alike!
Limit Outdoor Time
If the weather is hot and humid, be sure to limit the amount of time that your pet is spending outside. Exercise should happen in the early morning or late evening hours when the weather is slightly cooler. Don’t expect your dog to make their way into their house for shade during the summer months. While dog houses do provide shade, they hold an ample amount of heat inside and are worse for your pet. Your pet would benefit more from the shade of a tree that doesn’t restrict airflow. Be sure to keep your pets off of the concrete during the heat of the day to prevent paw pad injuries.
Clean Water Access
A good thing to keep in mind is that if the weather is uncomfortable for you to stay outside, it is probably the same for your pet. Just like people, animals need to stay hydrated in order to stay safe in the heat. While it is important to give your pets access to water outside, metal bowls can heat up quickly in the sun and start to form algae. Be sure to keep water and food bowls in a shady, covered area that your pets can easily access.
Car Safety Tips
When you combine the heat of summer with unruly humidity, it makes it even harder to breathe. Never, ever leave your pet in the car. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature rises quickly inside of a car within minutes. You should never leave your pet in the car during the summer. It is hard to hear, but leaving your beloved four-legged friend in the car can result in them suffering from irreversible organ damage or death.
If you see your pet panting in the heat, it doesn’t always mean that they are overheating. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their body temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels. Some dog breeds—like boxers, pugs, Shih Tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat. The same goes for overweight and mature adult animals. Always take precautions to keep your pets safe when the weather is hot!