During a heatwave and caring for our pets
During these extremely high temperatures this week, we would like to share life-saving information for safeguarding your pets in hot weather.
- Keep dogs indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress or permanent physical harm and even be fatal.
- Provide water (at all times!) and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be given ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
- If it’s more than 85 degrees, leave your dog at home. Going to the beach and sitting out all day in the sun is something we humans enjoy, but it can leave dogs
severely dehydrated. Even if you feel like the heat is bearable, remember, when dogs are exposed to moderately high temperatures over an extended period of time, their bodies might be unable to cool down.
- Walk, don’t run. In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling and making them run alongside the bike or by taking them running with you. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
- Pavements- when the temperature soars, imagine what it would feel like if you walked bare feet on pavements. Your pup’s paws can be as sensitive as the soles of your feet. If the asphalt’s too hot for you to walk on, chances are it’s too hot for your pup too. On a walk, try to alternate between asphalt, sidewalk, and grass so that your dog’s delicate paws don’t get overheated. If your dog is particularly sensitive, cover his paws with pet booties so he can stroll comfortably.s
- Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. A dog trapped inside a parked car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even when the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight. On a 26-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 32 degrees, and the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees. If you see a dog in a car and in distress, take down the car’s colour, model, make and registration number; try to locate the owner if possible and call local animal authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment of the situation, take steps to remove the suffering animal and then wait for authorities to arrive. A dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – such as restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy or lack of coordination – should be taken to a shady spot immediately. Stabilise the dog’s temperature by providing water and applying a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then take the animal to a veterinarian. If you have any further questions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org