The dog days of summer are upon us, and there has already been record-breaking high temperatures in several U.S. states. Reports indicate that these high-temperatures are likely to remain, at least for the Northwest, throughout mid-July.
“If it’s hot outside for you, it’s even hotter for your pet,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
To help protect pets in the extreme heat, the American Humane Society shared some advice to help keep animal companions safe and healthy. To look out for pets in the midst of extreme heat, here’s some guidance retailers can share with consumers:
Limit or Adjust Exercise Routines
Exercise is an important component to a pet’s health and fitness, but during a heat wave, it needs to take a backseat. Owners should scale back on a pet’s exercise routine (i.e., take shorter walks, limit time outside, etc.) The American Humane Society suggests that pet parents should adjust their schedules to bring pets outside during the coolest parts of the day.
The scalding sidewalk and pavement outside can be painful for pet paws, so it’s important to either stick to the grass, or make use of pet boots that can protect paw pads from hot surfaces.
Be Careful Where You Leave Pets
This goes without saying, but keeping pets in a locked car in dangerous conditions can be deadly. It’s imperative that, if pets need to be left in the car, that they have a source of air, and that it won’t be for an extended period of time. Overall, if it can be avoided, keep pets out of locked cars in general, but especially during a heat wave.
On top of being stuck inside a vehicle, pets shouldn’t be left outside too long in the heat. After a brief time outside, pets should return to cool and shady spaces with a water supply nearby.
Address Heat Stroke Immediately
If pets experience a heat stroke, they’ll need a vet’s attention right away. Heat stroke can lead to fatal complications in dogs or cats, so they need to be treated for this condition as soon as possible. Symptoms of a heat stroke in pets can range from heavy panting and excessive drooling to seizures and unconsciousness. Some breeds or older pets may be more susceptible to this condition, so retailers should encourage pet parents to learn if their pets may be at a higher risk.