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Hot Weather Safety: Keeping your furry-friend safe in the summer

These tips from the ASPCA and AVMA will help keep your pet safe during this heat and the rest of the summer.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Kentuckiana faces extreme heat in June, we know people like to head out for some fun in the sun, and who better to bring along than your fur baby? But being overeager with time outside in the summer can actually be harmful to your pet.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has some helpful tips to keep you and your furry family member safe this summer.

It's important your dog stays hydrated, so making sure they have fresh, clean water is obviously a must.

We know people love going outside when the sun is out. But when temperatures are high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt or concrete! 

Being closer to the ground, your dog's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. You wouldn't want to walk barefoot on hot asphalt, so neither do they! Keep walks to a minimum when it's extremely hot out.

When it's time to take a dip in the pool to cool off, do not leave pets unsupervised around the water. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are good swimmers. The ASPCA says to introduce your pets to water gradually and have them wear flotation devices when on boats. 

Oh, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that are harmful to them.

When you're out running errands, never leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, but it's also illegal in several states!

The temperature inside your car can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

That means after just one hour, the cars inside temperature can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that's over 110 degrees inside your car!

And no, cracking your windows makes no difference according to the AVMA.

Even with all these tips, one of the most proactive things you can do to keep your dog safe in the summertime according to the ASPCA is to know the signs of overheating, which include:

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart and respiratory rate
  • Drooling
  • Mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse 
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea and vomit 
  • Elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees

We all want to go outside and have fun this summer with our furry friends, but let's make sure we are keeping them safe too.

For more tips to keep your pet safe during hot weather, visit the ASPCA's website.

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