Hot weather pet safety
Extra precautions need to be taken during hot weather to keep your animals safe. Even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening for your pet. Limit the length of time spent outdoors, never leave an animal unattended in a vehicle, and ensure animals always have sufficient water and a cool, sheltered place out of direct sun.
General heat safety tips
- If you are travelling with your pet and can’t take them inside with you when you leave your car, leave them at home where they are safe.
- Take dogs on walks in the morning or evening when the temperature is lower and reduce outdoor playtime during the day.
- Test the pavement on sunny days using the back of your hand or wrist. Pavement can get very hot and burn the pads on your dog’s feet.
- If you do not have air conditioning at home, provide a fan to keep your pets cool and comfortable. Close the curtains in your home to keep the temperature lower inside and give animals access to a cool room within your home. Spaces with bare floors are ideal, as they provide a cool place for your pet to lay down.
- Limit the amount of outdoor activity provided to early morning or evening when it is cooler and keep dogs on leash to prevent them from running, leading to overexertion.
It’s important to watch for signs of heat stroke, which can include excessive panting and drooling, listlessness or unconsciousness. If heat stroke is suspected prompt veterinary medical attention is vital.
- To help cool the animal, wet the fur immediately with lukewarm to cool water, not cold water. Bring the pet into the shade and offer drinking water.
- Even if your dog cools down take him to a vet as soon as possible as some medical problems caused by heatstroke may not show up right away.
- Certain types of dogs, such as Northern breeds or short-muzzled dogs can have a more difficult time in the heat. Dogs that are older, overweight, taking certain medications or with certain medical conditions are also more susceptible to heat exposure.
If you see an animal in distress in the heat, call the government’s animal protection hotline at 1-833-9ANIMAL or your local police. For more hot weather pet safety tips, visit ontariospca.ca. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!
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