Written by Jenna Santiago, Network Operations Manager
Summer months can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous sometimes for ourselves and our pets. Temperatures and humidity can rise quickly and that’s why it is so important to take care of yourself and loved ones.
We should all practice basic summer safety which starts with car and heat awareness. Most often, we think since the temperatures are in the low 70s and there is a nice breeze, our pets will be ok while in the car with the windows cracked. Unfortunately, this is not true. If the car is sitting in the direct sun, that can turn into an oven almost immediately. For example, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside the car with the windows opened a bit can reach 104 degrees within 10 minutes. Inside the Car Temperature Calculator
Other ways to stay vigilant with the heat is to pay attention to the humidity levels. Perhaps the heat temperature itself is not high however, with rising humidity levels, it can turn a cool day into a steam box which can affect your breathing and the breathing of your pet. On those days, we should limit our exercise outdoors. Alternatively, you can exercise in the early mornings or into the late evenings. The sun will be rising or setting which can mean a cooler experience. If being outside during the height of the heat for that day is unavoidable, remember that the asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. You should walk with your pet on the grass whenever possible.
Providing ample shade and water for yourself and your pet can work wonders. Doghouses may provide shade but they do not provide relief from the heat. In fact, sometimes it can make it worse. Using a tree for shade is a better alternative as it allows for good air flow to pass. Drinking plenty of water is also helpful. You can add ice to your water as well as your pet’s water on especially hot summer days.
Watch for signs of heatstroke. Heatstroke includes heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid (fast) heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizer and unconsciousness. To read more about how to find signs of heatstroke in your pet and ways to treat it, click here.