10 Hot Weather Safety Tips for Your Pets
The long, sunny days of summer are perfect for spending time with our pets, but overeagerness in hot weather can cause disaster. Take these simple steps to prevent your pet from overheating
Summer months can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for pets. As temperatures rise, hot weather-related conditions like heat stroke and dehydration become more common, so it is important to notice the signs. Here are 10 hot weather safety tips to help your pets stay safe in the heat.
1. VET CHECK-UPS: Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication. Also, make sure their vaccinations are up to date.
2. STAY HYDRATED: If it's hot or humid outside, give your pet plenty of fresh, clean water to stay hydrated. Ensure that your pets have access to a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Remember the 1-to-1 rule—1 oz. of water per 1lb. of body weight.
3. KNOW THE SIGN OF OVERHEATING: Symptoms of overheating in pets can include: • Excessive panting • Difficulty breathing • Increased heart and respiratory rate • Drooling • Mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse • Seizures • Bloody diarrhea • Vomit • Elevated body temperature of over 104℉
4. CERTAIN BREEDS ARE MORE AT RISK: Heatstroke is more likely to affect animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, since they cannot effectively pant. Pets with these conditions, as well as the elderly, obese, and those with heart or lung conditions, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
5. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PETS IN THE CAR: You should NEVER leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 120F in a matter of minutes—even with the car windows partially open, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage, die from heatstroke, or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures.
6. SAFETY DURING POOL TIME: Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. You should introduce your pets to water gradually, and make sure they wear flotation devices when on a boat. Make sure you rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur and don't let your dog drink pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
7. DANGERS OF OPEN WINDOWS: Unscreened windows pose a great danger to pets, as they often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
8. HAIRCUTS FOR HOT WEATHER: Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog. The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by hotter temperatures. Also, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent products you use on your pets are labeled specifically for use on animals.
9. HOT ASPHALT: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your pets linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pets’ bodies can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during excessive heat to a minimum.
10. DANGERS OF PESTICIDES: Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products, and insect coils out of pets’ reach as well.
**Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.**