Keeping Pets Safe in the Heat

Keeping Pets Safe in the Heat

Thursday 23rd June 2022

The summer months can be uncomfortable and even sometimes dangerous for both pets and people. The rising temperatures make it difficult to cope on their own, let alone the thick humidity on top.

In today's blog, we want to help keep both you and your pets safe and cool this summer.

Never leave a pet locked in a vehicle
You should NEVER leave your pets in a locked vehicle on a warm day. Not even if the vehicle is running and the air conditioner is on. On a warm day, the temperature in a vehicle can increase drastically in just a few minutes. Being exposed to high temperatures can cause pets to experience irreversible organ damage or even cause them to die. If you see a pet locked in a car on a warm day, you can act or if you are unsure, ask your local law enforcement for advice on how to proceed.

Watch the humidity
It is important to remember that it is not just the ambient temperature that can affect your pet but also the humidity. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs. This in turn takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they become unable to control themselves and as a result their temperature will very quickly skyrocket to dangerous levels.

Limit exercise on hot days
You must take care when exercising your pet. You should adjust the intensity and duration of their exercise to match in accordance with the temperature. For example, on very hot days, limit exercise to early in the morning or evening hours when the temperature is cooler and be especially careful with pets which have white coloured ears as they are more susceptible to skin cancer. Furthermore, short nosed pets who typically have difficulty breathing need extra caution taking. You should also remember that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws. To avoid this, try and walk your pet on grass as much as possible and carry water with you to keep your pet from dehydrating.

Don't rely on a fan
Pets and humans both respond to heat differently. Dogs sweat primarily through their feet and therefore fans don't cool them off as effectively as they do people.

Provide ample shade and water
Any time that your pet is outside, you must make sure that they have protection from heat and sun with plenty of fresh, cold water. If the temperature is extremely high, add ice to the water where possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they do not obstruct air flow. Doghouses do not provide relief from heat but actually make it worse as there is no airflow.