As we enter into what is commonly referred to as the Dog Days of Summer, it is always important to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your pets safe in the heat. Long exposure to rising temperatures can cause some severe problems to your pet including heat stroke and even death. To make sure you are watching your pet, follow these simple tips to beat the heat and keep your critters cool.
Keep Them Out of the Car
In a matter of minutes, a car can go from normal to severe temperatures. Even with windows cracked, it is not safe to leave your pets in the car. If you witness a pet in a parked car, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Adjust Your Walking Schedule
In the summer months it is better to walk your pet in the early morning or late evening. These times tend to be the coolest in the day and will help keep your pet safe. If you must walk your pet during the hotter times of the day, make sure the exercise is brief and take with you some water and a collapsible dish to help keep your pet hydrated and cool.
Avoid the Sun
Pets need shade just like humans do. It is never good to tie your dog out for long periods of time in the direct sunlight. You need to provide them with some sort of escape from the sun. Make sure they have fresh, clean water and some sort of shelter or tree to shield them from direct sunlight.
Keep Temperatures Regulated
In the summer months, make sure to keep your home at a descent temperature. Use air conditioners, fans or allow your pets access to cooler rooms such as your basement. You don’t have to have your air extremely low, but something around 70 to 75 degrees is ideal for your pet.
Know the Symptoms
Heat stroke is a real concern for pets in the warmer months. Be aware of and watch for signs that your pet may be too hot. Symptoms include panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, a rapid pulse, bright red gums or a blue tongue or lips. If you believe your pet has heat stroke you must act immediately. Move your pet to a cool place and lower their body temperature with cool, but not icy, water. Contact your vet immediately to ensure you pet stays safe.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 112 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.