Hot Weather Tips from The Anti-Cruelty Society
A heat wave is headed to Chicago and it’s important to keep your pet’s safety top of mind. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe in the heat this weekend and throughout the summer.
- Do not leave your pet in a parked car. A parked car quickly becomes dangerously hot, even with the windows left partly opened. When outside temperatures are in the 90’s, after just 10 minutes, your car can be 114 degrees. At these temperatures, your pet can suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
- Be aware of the humidity. When the humidity is high, dogs have a harder time cooling themselves, leading to overheating with their internal temperatures skyrocketing quickly. A dog’s temperature should not be over 104 degrees.
- Limit outdoor activities and exercise on hot days. Adjust the duration and type of activity you do with your dog on hot days. Extended periods of time in the heat can lead to heat stroke and death. Morning and evening hours (before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down) are ideal. Be mindful when walking on asphalt as it gets hot and can burn your dog’s paws, so walk on grass when possible. Always carry water to help keep your pet hydrated.
- Provide shade and water. When you’re outside, be sure your pet has protection from heat and sun. Add ice to water when possible to keep it cold. Find shade under trees where airflow is constant.
- Know the signs of heat stroke. Symptoms include: difficulty breathing or sudden rapid breath, a blank or anxious stare, abnormally red gums and tongue, disorientation or sudden collapse. If your pet is overheated, take action immediately. Immerse your pet with cool (not cold or ice) water to lower their body temperature while taking your pet immediately to a veterinarian. Even if it seems your pet has recovered, it is necessary to check for internal damage.
- If you see something, say something. If you believe a pet is being neglected by not being provided adequate shelter and water in the heat, call The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Humane Investigation team at 312-644-8338 ext. 304. For more information on signs of abuse and neglect, visit www.anticruelty.org.