As the temperatures continue to soar during the hottest summer on record, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of our beloved pets. Here are five essential tips to keep them safe during scorching weather:
- Hydration is Key: Ensure your pets always have access to fresh and cool water. Keep multiple water bowls throughout your home and refill them frequently. When outdoors, carry a portable water container for your pet and encourage them to drink regularly. Watermelon is a fun treat for dogs and is a great source of hydration. Seeds are safe for dogs to ingest in moderation but may pose a choking hazard for small dogs.
- Limit Outdoor Activities: During peak heat hours, usually, in the afternoon, avoid strenuous outdoor activities with your pets. Pavements and surfaces can get scorching hot and burn their paw pads. Opt for early morning or late evening walks when it’s cooler. A good rule of thumb to follow is to place the back of your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
- Shade and Shelter: Whether inside or outside, create shaded areas for your pets to rest. Provide a well-ventilated, cool spot indoors where they can relax comfortably. Outdoors, use canopies or tarps to offer protection from direct sunlight.
- Never Leave Pets in Vehicles: Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car, even with windows cracked. In minutes, temperatures inside a car can skyrocket to dangerous levels, leading to heatstroke and even death.
- Use Cooling Techniques: To keep pets cool inside, utilize fans or air conditioning. Additionally, you can use cooling mats or damp towels for them to lie on. Freeze treats like dog-safe ice cream or use frozen fruits for a refreshing snack.
Remember, pets are susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which can be life-threatening. If you suspect that your pet is too hot, it is EXTREMELY important that you don’t use ice water or ice packs to cool them down. Rapid cooling can constrict blood vessels and hinder their ability to dissipate heat, potentially leading to shock.
Take these steps to help your pet cool down safely:
- Call Your Vet Immediately: Let them know the symptoms and ask for directions. This will also give your vet a heads-up if you need further help and need to bring your pet in.
- Move to a Cool Area: Immediately take your pet to a shaded, well-ventilated spot away from direct sunlight. Indoors with air conditioning is the best option, or find a cool, breezy spot outside.
- Offer Water: Provide your pet with fresh, cool water to drink. Encourage them to drink but don’t force it. Avoid giving ice-cold water as it can cause shock; room temperature water is ideal.
- Use Cooling Methods: Apply cool (not cold) water to your pet’s paws, ears, and belly using a damp cloth or sponge. You can also use a fan or air conditioning to help lower their body temperature.
You know your pet best and if you feel they are not responding or acting differently, call your veterinarian or seek out the nearest emergency vet. You can prevent any danger to your pet by being a little more aware of their activities and by faulting on the side of being extra cautious.
By following our tips, you can ensure your fur babies stay safe, healthy, and happy during the extreme heat of summer. And when you keep your HVAC system serviced, you can keep your whole family safe from the heat of no air conditioning. Call Quigley today to schedule an inspection and then sign up for one of our maintenance plans. Don’t wait for something to fail before you call.