Hot Weather Tips for Pet Parents
The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Hot Weather Safety Tips
CHICAGO—The Anti-Cruelty Society reminds you that it is important to keep your pet’s safety top of mind. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe in the heat 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. To cool a dog down, offer an ice pack or wet towel for them to lay on. Add ice cubes to their water dish, or if available, a wading pool with shallow, cool water for them to get into.
• 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. Indoor cats can get overheated as well, so remember to provide adequate water for all animals. If you are thirsty, they will be too.
• 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.
• Call your veterinarian. If your animal is showing any concerning signs of being dehydrated like loss of appetite, reduced energy levels, excessive panting, sunken, dry-looking eyes, dry nose and gums, or loss of skin elasticity, call your veterinarian immediately.
• If you see something, say something. If you believe a pet is being neglected by a lack of adequate shelter and water in the heat, call The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Humane Investigation team at 312-645-8090. For more information on signs of abuse and neglect, visit www.anticruelty.org.
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About The Anti-Cruelty Society
In 2019, The Anti-Cruelty Society is celebrating 120 years of being Chicago’s oldest, largest, private, open-admission, unlimited stay humane society. With a mission of building a community of caring by helping pets and educating people, its comprehensive programs and services help over 50,000 animals and humans every year and include: adoption, charity veterinary clinic, low or no-cost spay/neuter clinic, cruelty investigations and rescue, humane education & community outreach, a free behavior helpline, dog training classes, S.A.F.E. program (short-term accommodations for emergencies), The Bruckner Rehabilitation & Treatment Center, the Virginia Butts Berger Cat Clinic, and the Dog Rehabilitation Center. For more information, visit www.anticruelty.org or call (312) 644-8338.