Never leave your pets in a parked car, not even for a moment. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can grow rapidly to dangerous levels. Within an 85-degree day, by way of instance, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. Your pet may undergo irreversible organ damage or die.
As someone who lives in a small coastal city in the Pacific Northwest, I know that probably 5 out of 10 people in the region drive around with their 4 legged friends riding shotgun. We’re usually cool enough for our pets to be safe but as summer is fast speeding up on us we will need to consider how the increasing temperature can put our pets into danger.
It important to consider the humidity and not simply the ambient temperature. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels-very quickly. So in areas with higher humidity always think about this when deciding if your pet can go for a ride with you or not.
Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be particularly careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more vulnerable to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have trouble breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating
Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their toes.) So don’t rely on lovers they don’t cool off pets as efficiently as they do people.
Any time your pet is outdoors, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sunlight and plenty of clean, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree color and tarps are ideal because they don’t block air flow. A doghouse doesn’t provide relief from heat-in fact, it makes it worse. Always make sure your pet has a place to get out of the sun either under a tree or under a tarp covered area to be certain they don’t get overheated.