Pets not only have to deal with soaring temperatures wearing their fur coats, but they rely on panting to cool down. That isn’t as effective as sweating, especially when they’re just breathing in hot air, and it can be a particular problem for those dogs with short muzzles, which are more prone to overheat because of compressed nasal passages.
- Car safety. A parked car can rapidly become a furnace. Even at 70 degrees, the temperature inside a car can rapidly approach 118 degrees. On days in the mid-90s, inside temperatures will reach 145 degrees. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even with the windows open. It’s against the law and it can be deadly.
- Walks. Sidewalks and asphalt can be blistering in the summer heat. Heat rising off the pavement can rapidly elevate your dog’s body temperature. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pooch. Although it’s important for dogs to have regular walks, schedule them in cooler times of the day.
- Short cuts. Many dogs see their groomer for summer-friendly clips in the summer time, but make sure not to go too short, particularly if you have a light-colored dog with pink skin. Dogs can get sunburned just like you can. If your dogs are going to be out in the sun, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of water. It’s not a bad idea to use sunscreen on areas without as much hair, but make sure it’s free of zinc oxide.
- If your pet is showing any signs of heat stroke – excessive panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, impaired movement – take him to the vet right away to avoid complications.
Pima Animal Care Center wishes everyone a safe summer.