The heat is on!
Summer weather reminds us of pool parties, longer evenings, and beach trips, but to our pets the summer heat can be a potential hazard. Heat exhaustion can be fatal and is a big problem as the temperature rises. Your pet loves to run and play and keep up the pace, but realize you may need to be the one to call time out and limit exercise for our fur coat wearing friends on hot days. As a guideline, in the warmer months, avoid heavy exercise (in long nosed dogs) or ANY exercise (short nosed dogs such as pugs, bulldogs) except in the cool of the morning and very late evening, and ensure that pets can access shade and water at all times. This will also protect their paw pads from the hot asphalt and potentially burning the pads. If the ground is too hot for you to walk barefoot then its too hot for them. Also, don’t forget your small furries. If you have a guinea pig or rabbit, keep them inside when possible, and when outside be sure to provide plenty of shade. Some rabbits and guinea pigs will also appreciate having a frozen water bottle to lie against on warmer days.
The sun itself can pose a hazard. This is especially true of cats with white ears and pink noses. These pets are at high risk for sunburns that can lead to skin cancer over time. If you have a white dog or cat consider applying sunblock to these areas before spending time outdoors and be wary if your white cats enjoy time in sunny windows.
Never leave a pet in the car on a warm day. Remember; the temperature in cars can rise rapidly! Studies have shown that an outside temperature of 75°F (24°C) can cause temperatures of 102°F (39°C) inside a car within 10 minutes and 120°F (49°C) in 30 minutes. EVEN WITH THE WINDOW OPEN. A Dog can only withstand body temperatures of up to 107-108°F for a short time before suffering brain damage and death. If you leave your dog in a hot car and it is noticed by, or reported to the Police/Animal Control you could be prosecuted. Remember, cats also like to climb into open cars and can get locked in, so if your leave the doors open for the car to cool- do a cat check before locking it up!