Temperatures are rising across the nation and that means more people will be spending time outside with their loved ones, including pets. Unfortunately, pet owners sometimes don’t realize the effects of heat on their beloved animals, which can be fatal for their furry friends. Follow these easy tips to keep your pets safe from the heat this summer.
Check the concrete before a walk
If you’ve ever skipped across some asphalt or concrete because it’s too hot for your feet to handle, just think about your pets and their paws. Since most animals don’t wear shoes—although there are shoes available specifically for pets—the pads of their paws can become overheated fast. A quick tip to test if it’s too hot for your pet is to place the palm of your hand on the ground for ten seconds. If you can’t keep your hand there for the full amount of time or just feel that it is extremely hot, then you shouldn’t let your pet walk on that surface. Keep in mind, asphalt (which is usually black and used for driveways) can absorb heat better, so it may be hotter than a cement sidewalk.
Save outdoor time for dawn or dusk
To avoid hot pathways altogether, switch up walking times to either dusk or dawn. Temperatures are typically cooler in the morning and at night (peak temperatures usually happen around 2 to 3 p.m.). With the sun not blaring down on you, pet paws are more likely able to withstand the walkways that you would otherwise not notice with your sneakers on. Additionally, the air is easier to breathe for your pets when it is cooler.
Find some shade to lounge in
An obvious tip to keep your pets cool during the heat of summer months is to find a shady spot to sit. If your family plans on spending an extended amount of time at a park, try finding a shaded area where your pet can hang out and avoid being in direct sunlight. If you live in a humid environment, be on the lookout for ticks, which tend to live near wooded or grassy areas. Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not fall from trees. According to Prevention.com, they actually crawl up from the ground. Therefore, it may be a good idea to bring a blanket for you and your pets to sit on in the grass.
Water is a necessity
Just as humans require water to survive, so do animals. While humans can forego drinking water for long periods of time, an animal can get dehydrated much quicker, and they often do not have the ability to get water for themselves. Always bring a water dish and clean drinking water for your pets when you plan on being outside for long periods of time. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat so they pant in order to expel the heat inside their bodies. Unfortunately, panting uses up a large amount of internal moisture and can lead to dehydration.
Never keep them in the car
This should go without saying, but you should never—under any circumstance—keep your pet in a car on a hot day. According to heatkills.org, even if it’s only 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can rise up to 104 degrees in just 30 minutes; after an hour, it rises to 113 degrees. To avoid the risk of overheating your pet, simply leave them at home in the air conditioning or find a friend to watch them for you.
Be sure to follow these tips to keep your pets cool during the dog days of summer.
This article is presented by Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware.