New Ways to Keep Pets Cool in Summer
If you’ve followed PetsWeekly for any length of time, you already know how dread the summer heat in the sweltering deserts of the Southwest. However, this summer, it appears our entire nation is going to experience a taste of our heat.
Those of you who are not quite accustomed to 100+ degree temps may need a quick tutorial. These are a few of our favorite ways to protect pets from the summer heat and sweltering sun.
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Keeping Pets Safe in Extreme Heat
There are a number of ways you can help people and pets in summer. Knowing how to perform CPR, understanding the symptoms of heatstroke, and keeping you and your pets hydrated are key.
Learn Symptoms of Heatstroke
Heatstroke can happen any time, which means you should know how to prevent heat stroke in pets.
Know How to Perform CPR
Heatstroke and water-related deaths are sadly commonplace in the desert. It’s important to know how to save the life of a person or animal using CPR. Sign up for a class at the community center, hire a professional CPR instructor, or visit your veterinarian to learn how to administer CPR.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
Not all dogs know how to swim (read more about Dogs that can’t Swim and Some that just aren’t very good at it). Some dogs are simply not designed for swimming due to their barrel chests or short legs. Learn how to protect your pets when they are around water.
On that same note, not all pets know when it’s time to take a break in the shade. Make sure you keep an eye on your pets when they’re outdoors.
In Arizona, you never travel anywhere without a bottle of water tucked away. We keep a couple of cases of water in our car, as well as extras in our home so our pets (or other people’s pets) are never without a cool drink.
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
This can result in a myriad of symptoms from muscle cramps to death. Water is the only common thread uniting every single person on this earth – use it wisely and drink it often.
Never Leave Pets In Cars
I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will:
Never leave your pet in a hot car!
If you see someone doing this, say something (or just call the police).
It’s recently become legal for people to break windows of cars in order to free a dog or other pet that has been left unattended, but this is not a “free for all” pass to walk around breaking windows.
Here is the proper process if you find an animal in a vehicle.
- Be sure you document the scene: Use your phone or a camera to document the animal, the vehicle, the license plate, the time and the owner (if possible).
- Invite additional witnesses in – the more the merrier. It’s important to have witnesses in the event the owner receives a citation (and we hope they do).
- Call 911. An animal in a car is an emergency situation.
- If possible, wait for them to show up (unless the animal is in immediate distress) and let professionals handle the problem (again – unless the animals are in immediate distress).
If the animal is in obvious and severe distress, be very cautious in how you break the window and remove the pet, but keep these things in mind:
- Glass can cut you and the animal.
- You do not know how dangerous the animal in that car might be – stress will aggravate any personality problem.
- You don’t know how the animal will respond to you coming in to their space.
- You don’t know how the window will break and if it may cause more problems.
- You must have a safe way to restrain the dog and a place to move them into the shade and off of pavement or concrete.
- You don’t know how the owner will respond should they arrive back at the car.