The Oregon Humane Society urges animal lovers to follow these simple dos and don’ts for keeping your pets safe in the heat.
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car. The inside of a car heats up to dangerous temperatures in minutes. On an 85-degree day, a car’s interior temperature can climb to 120 degrees in 20 minutes, even with the windows slightly open.
Don’t walk, jog, or play fetch with your dog during the heat of the day. Instead, walk and play with your pets in the cool of the evening and morning.
Don’t let Fido ride in an uncovered pickup bed in the heat of the day. The sun heats up the metal truck bed and can burn a pet’s paw pads.
Don’t leave pets unattended outside when it gets too hot – bring pets inside.
Do keep your pets inside the house, with plenty of water. The best place for your pet to be during the heat of the day is inside with you – especially if you have an air conditioner or fan.
Do give outside pets lots of shade and plenty of water to drink if it is not possible to bring them indoors.
Do get a kiddie pool and fill it with water for your dogs to splash and play in. They will love it.
Symptoms of heatstroke could include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark red tongue or gums, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Contact your veterinarian if your pet exhibits these symptoms.
If your pet is overcome by heat exhaustion, immediately immerse or spray the animal with cool running water (avoid cold water as that could cause shock) and continue until the body temperature lowers.
Give your pet water to drink and consult your veterinarian right away to determine if additional treatment is needed.
If you suspect an emergency situation has developed and you see someone else’s animal in immediate danger from the heat, first consult the owner if possible and then contact your local animal control agency or police department.
More information about heat hazards for pets can be found online at oregonhumane.org/hot-weather-safety-for-pets-resources.