Tips for keeping pets safe in the summer heat

Published 9:50 am Thursday, June 16, 2022

As the summer heat rolls through Pearl River County, furry four legged members of the family will want to get out of the heat. They will also need the proper amount of water, and shade, otherwise too much heat can kill a dog. When a dog’s internal body temperature goes above 101.5 F, the animal can suffer from a fever and hyperthermia. If the animal’s the body temperature becomes hotter than that, a dog may suffer a heat stroke.

Here are some tips from the Pearl River County SPCA on keeping  dogs cool this summer and prevent them from suffering a heat stroke.

Never leave a pet alone in a vehicle, even with the windows down and parked in the shade. Parking in the shade offers little protection because the sun shifts during the day and the interior temperature of a cars can quickly become like a furnace in hot weather. It’s also not a good idea to leave a pet in the back of a pickup truck, since the metal can get very hot for the pads on their feet.

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It’s also a good idea to give a pet time to digest a meal before bringing them outside to exercise in hot or humid weather. To avoid that danger, exercise them early in the morning or in the evenings when the temperatures are cool. When taking a pet for a walk, bring along a jug of water and keep the duration of the walks to a minimum. Pets don’t have shoes to protect them from the hot asphalt created by the sun, leaving their paws susceptible to burns.

When bringing a pet to the beach, don’t forget to provide them with shade and lots of water. It’s also important to rinse them off after they’ve been in seawater to prevent then from suffering from skin irritation.

Be especially sensitive to old and overweight pets in hot weather. Snub nosed dogs and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors and in air-conditioning as much as possible.

A furry coat may seem like a jacket to humans, but avoid the inclination to shave a pet because their fur provides them with protection from the heat and sun. Instead, make sure they are well groomed and brushed daily.

If possible keep pets inside during hot weather. If they must be outside, get a mister for the yard and provide them with plenty of shade and lots of drinking water. Dogs love misters since they provide them with a method to cool off as often as they need. Give them a mini pool with cool water or hose them down every now and then. When hosing down a dog, do so gently and prevent water from going into the ears or face.  If the dog turns over its water bowl often, try putting it inside an old tire to prevent it from tipping over and throw ice in the tire to keep the water cold.