The Humane Society of Central Oregon is tired of getting calls about dogs left in hot vehicles, so they released some tips to keep pets safe this summer. Tip number one: don’t leave your pet in a hot car.
Here are some others:
- If your pet is outside during the day, make sure they have some shade and plenty of fresh water. Remember that older and overweight dogs, and dogs with short muzzles (pugs, bulldogs and Boston Terriers), are more likely to overheat.
- Dogs left in truck beds can suffer heat stroke, which is often fatal. If you cannot touch the hot truck bed with your bare hand, your dog should not be on the hot metal.
- Exercise your dog in cooler temperatures, like in the morning or evening. Their paw pads can get injured from the hot pavement and melted tar can get stuck to the pad and hair.
The last one is especially important, even though some may find it surprising. “People don’t realize how hot it gets for the dogs,” said Brian Walsh, medical director at Feather and Fur, an 24-hour emergency animal hospital in Kailua, Hawaii, where outdoor walking paths reach record temperatures and can become hazardous for pets. “The closer you are to the ground, it’s hotter. There isn’t as much breeze down there. They can’t sweat like people, so it’s easy for them to overheat.”
Walsh said Feather and Fur sees multiple cases every summer of dogs overheating during walks on popular trails nearby. “It’s always difficult seeing those, because we know it’s so preventable,” Walsh said. “It’s so tragic and unexpected. People go out there to have fun with their dog and they accidentally end up killing them.”
Dr. Foster and Smith’s website provides some helpful tips for keeping your dog cool in hot weather, and how to tell if a dog is experiencing heat stroke. Signs of a heat stroke include a bright red tongue, excessive panting, vomiting (sometimes with blood), and sluggishness. They recommend steering clear of muzzles, remind you to make sure your dog constantly has fresh water, and allow them to swim if possible. “Use common sense and think of what it might feel like to wear a fur jacket (that cannot be removed) on a hot summer day,” the website states.
Of course, at the top of the list of tips is something we should all know by now: do not leave your pet in a hot car. Period. If you need somewhere for your dog to stay on a hot day, head over to your favorite dog boarding in Chicago, The Barking Lot, and also learn more about our dog grooming while you’re here!