The heat is on! We want you and your pets to be safe and happy this summer. Pets should never be left in the car this time of year; in fact, they should never be in the car at all when the temperature outside is higher than 70 degrees. With our current temperatures a car can become a death chamber for your pet within minutes, so if you see a pet left in a hot car immediately call the cops.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in an Unattended Vehicle
On a 75 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can climb up to 115 degrees EVEN with the windows down. A dog can easily overheat, or even die, if left in these conditions. As much as your dog or pets might like to ride in the car, do yourself (and them) the favor of leaving them home this summer. It will save you the trouble of worrying about your dog while you’re out and eliminate the chance you might forget the dog is in the car all together. Often, if a dog is getting hot it will lie down in the back of the car and this unfortunately all too often leads to owners forgetting the dog is in the car. Better to be safe than sorry for you and your dog.
Proper Outdoor Care and Shelter
Outside animals require their water to be replenished often and the water bowl inself should be kept free of algae, which develops quickly in the heat/sunlight. Make sure your pet has lots of fresh, clean water at all times outside. Shade and ventilation must be provided for outdoor pets. Pets can quickly and easily suffer and die from heatstroke when left without shade and water in the Arizona summers. This includes dogs who have adequate dog houses. When left in the sun without enough water even a nice dog house can become a death chamber. And it should be obvious, but it's not to all, NEVER leave a dog in a kennel outside!
Some dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than others. Elderly dogs and those with heavy coats are at greater risk in the heat. They should not be outside without access to cool, dry and shaded spaces and plenty of water. Providing baby pools with fresh water, shaded of course so the water doesn't get too hot, can be a great help for outdoor dogs.
Dogs with pushed-in snouts, such as bulldogs and pugs, should NEVER be left outside in the heat even if there is shade and water. Heat and/or humidity are perilous for them because of their compromised airways.
Other Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in Summer
- Keeping a fresh, clean supply of water in your dog’s dish will ensure your pup and other pets drink more often and stay hydrated. Some dogs get a bit finicky about their water if there’s an odd scent in the bowl or if the water has gotten warm in the sun.
- Bring fresh water for your dog when you go on a walk. Always grab a portable bowl and water bottle on your way out the door so your pup can drink even when you’re both on the go.
- If it’s 70 degrees or hotter outside, leave your dog at home. Again, never leave your dog in a car during the Arizona summer, but even if you're vacationing at the beach and sitting out all day in the sun, that's something we humans enjoy but can leave pooches severely dehydrated. Even if you feel like the heat is bearable, remember, when dogs are exposed to even moderately high temperatures over an extended period of time their bodies can become unable to cool down.
- Your pup’s paws can be as sensitive as the soles of your feet. If the asphalt or ground is too hot for you to walk on, chances are it’s too hot for your pup too. Alternate between the asphalt, sidewalk and grass while walking your dog so that its delicate paws don’t overheat and/or burn. If your dog is particularly sensitive, cover his paws with pet booties so he can stroll comfortably.
Don’t Over-exercise Pets
Dogs don’t always know their own limits. If you notice your dog breathing more rapidly or having trouble chasing after a ball, slow things down and allow your dog to cool off and take a break. Outdoor activities are great, but instead of playing in the blazing afternoon sun, try tossing a ball around early in the morning and/or as the sun is going down. Walk during cooler times of the day so your pup still gets the exercise he needs with less risk of overheating.
Apply Sunscreen to Your Dog’s Fur & Skin
Despite their furry coats, dogs can still be exposed to and damaged by UV rays. Coating their fur and skin in doggy UV protectant sunblock will help prevent burns and keep them healthy.
Let Your Dog Stand or Swim in a Cool Pool
Aside from panting, dogs cool down through the sweat glands in their paws. Having them stand in a cool pool of water or even allowing them to go swimming is a great way to keep them cool in the Summer. Your pooch would also appreciate your giving him a quick foot soak to help lower his body temperature. It can also be helpful to put some cold water on your dog’s chest. Never use ice to help your dog cool down, as it may lower their temperature too quickly and constrict blood flow, which will actually inhibit the body from cooling.