Keep Your Pet Safe in the Heat
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Humane Rescue Alliance

Keep Your Pet Safe in the Heat

Temperatures in the Washington, DC area hit the 90s this week, and while you think of creative ways to stay cool, remember that your pets are uncomfortable and in danger during extreme heat too! Humane Rescue Alliance Director of Behavior and Training, Alexandra Dilley, shares her top 10 tips for keeping your pets safe during times of extreme heat .

  1. Keep your pets indoors when temperatures are extreme and in the shade when they are outdoors.
  2. Walk your pets early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  3. Give pets plenty of water to avoid dehydration. When you walk your pet or take your pet outside, carry water with you.
  4. Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Temperatures in cars can increase rapidly and become lethal.
  5. Animals with short noses struggle in the heat. Dogs and cats cool themselves by breathing through their mouths, but those with flat faces cannot cool as quickly and need extra attention.
  6. If your pet is panting excessively, drooling, struggling to walk, is lethargic or has bloody diarrhea or vomiting, know that that these are potentially signs of overheating. 
  7. Windows in the home that are open should have screens. Pets can fall out of open, unsecured windows.
  8. Be careful with dogs on asphalt in the heat. Not only are their paws sensitive but because their bodies are closer to the asphalt, they can overheat more easily.
  9. As always, if you think your pet is in distress due to the heat, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
  10. If you are hot, your pet is too!