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Protecting Your Pet from Heat Stroke

Protecting Your Pet from Heat Stroke May 2022

The summer sun brings summer heat. People pay attention to the heat because we can’t get past the discomfort we experience when we overheat. When we get in the car, the upholstery can be hot to the touch (and even burn sometimes). Summer demands intentional planning for safety, hydration, and rest – the same goes for our pets.

A dog’s temperature, for example, should never exceed 104 degrees. In many places, summer temperatures crest the century mark early in the day and the heat extends well into the night. This means your dogs, cats, and animals can be at risk if you don’t help manage their environment.

Here are some summer tips for protecting your pets.

  • Never leave your pet in your car. Many dog owners travel with their pets in the car. When they run into the store, they’re used to leaving their pet for a few minutes as they run errands. During the summer, your interior car temperature can go from 70 degrees to 120 degrees in less than 30 minutes. Just as this is a deadly combination for humans, it is a deadly combination for our pets.
  • Always make sure your pets have access to fresh water and plenty of shade. Hydration is key for animals just like it is for humans. Remember they are not only drinking more water to fight the heat, but the heat naturally causes their water supply to evaporate. This means their normal supply will need to double or triple in most cases (depending on the size of bowl you’re using). Here are some tips:
    • Make sure you have both indoor and outdoor water supplies.
    • Set a schedule for checking the water supply every morning and twice during the day.
    • Check to make sure they have access to cool, clean water. Just as we are refreshed by a cool drink of fresh water, our pets enjoy that same pleasure – especially in the heat.
  • Remember that humidity impacts animals just as it does humans. Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association says, “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet.”
  • Keep your pet groomed and protected. Long hair adds a layer of warmth in the winter and can cause significant discomfort during the summer. While a dog’s coat is important for sun protection during the summer, allowing the coat to grow long can put them at risk of heatstroke. Taking advantage of professional grooming during extreme weather gives you confidence that you’re doing the best for your animal companions.

Here’s a general rule to keep in mind: If you’re uncomfortable with the heat, so is your pet. With our smart thermostats conserving energy, be careful not to leave your pet in the heat without any relief. Have a great summer while keeping everyone safe.