Cars aren’t the only dangerous place for pets during the summer months. Any climate that is not temperature-controlled (including backyards and homes without air-conditioning) can turn deadly. Be aware of your surroundings and how they will affect your pet.
When going for a walk or letting kitty enjoy some supervised outdoor time, a good rule of thumb is to test the ground your pet will be walking or lying on with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.
If you like to exercise with your pet, dawn and dusk are generally the coolest parts of the day, and the least likely times for your pet to become overheated.
Always carry a bowl and fresh, clean water with you so you and your pet can stay hydrated on-the-go.
If you need to leave your pet outdoors, they must have access to plenty of drinking water and be sure there’s a shady area or children’s wading pool with a few inches of water for them to retreat to.
If your dog has a heavy coat, get them a close-cropped summer haircut, leaving about an inch of hair to protect from sunburn. If you have a cat, brushing them frequently will thin out their coat and help regulate their temperature.
Never leave your pet unattended near swimming pools or other bodies of water. Not only might they be a weak swimmer, but you also want to be vigilant they don’t drink chlorinated or unsafe water. And after swimming, remember to rinse them off to remove salt or chlorine from their coats.
For more pet care tips and resources, visit Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s website at www.arflife.org.
By Cole Kuiper, Animal Rescue Foundation