Keep pets safe in hot weather



Reports are made every year about animals that suffer horrifying deaths during spring and summer. Even dogs left in the shade can quickly succumb to heatstroke and suffer brain damage as a result.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees, while the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in just minutes. If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination – get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a symptomatic dog’s body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a cold towel to the dog’s head and chest, or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

Following are vital information and suggestions for safeguarding animals during temperatures that can reach at least 100 degrees and above.

Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress, injury, or death.

Water and shade: If animals must be left outside, they should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.

Walk, don’t run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.

Avoid parked cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.

Hot pavement: Dogs’ footpads easily burn on heated asphalt, pavement, and sand. Test the road surface with your hand before walking a dog while the sun is out.

Pickups: Never transport animals in the bed of a pickup truck. This practice is dangerous – and illegal in many cities and states – because animals can catapult out of the truck bed on a sudden stop or choke if they jump out while they’re tied up.

Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor animals. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see an animal in distress, provide water for immediate relief and then contact humane authorities right away.