Keeping pets safe in hot weather

Keeping pets safe in hot weather
NBC33 Staff
All About Animals
Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 7:47am

Hot weather isn't only uncomfortable for you and me, but our pets, too. Here are some helpful tips to keep your animals safe in the extreme, summer heat:

1. Never leave your pets in a parked car.

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Learn how to help a pet left inside a hot car »

2. Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

3. Bring inside or provide ample shade and water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

4. Spoil them with cool treats.

Pet popsicles can be made out of all kinds of things your dog (or cats) eat normally. Consult your vet first, then experiment to see what your dog likes best. Whip up a batch of quick and easy DIY peanut butter popsicles for dogs. Try treats suspended in water, watered down wet food, and favorite frozen veggies. (Avoid: onions and onion powder, salt, macadamia nuts, tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb leaves and stems, avocados, and anything else on this list.)

Tips provided by the Humane Society

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