Dog Days of Summer Are Here – Keep Your Pets Safe in the Deadly Sun

This spring brought plenty of showers and surprisingly mild weather, however, the dog days of summer are upon us. With temperatures beginning to hover around 90 degrees daily, pet owners must take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of their furry friends in extreme heat.

The Humane Society of Missouri offers these four summer safety tips for responsible pet ownership:

1. It Only Takes Minutes

Even when the temperature outside is a comfortable 70 degrees, inside a car, that can turn into well over 100 degrees before you know it. Remember the Humane Society of Missouri’s lifesaving motto: “70 Degrees and Over, Don’t Take Rover!”

Leaving a pet in a hot, unattended car, regardless if a window is cracked, is inhumane and can cause severe injury or death within minutes. 

2. Be Alert

If your pet needs to be outside, provide them with a shady spot and a bowl of clean water, ensuring they are protected from the sun at all times of the day. Secure a plastic (never metal) bowl to the ground so the bowl does not tip over or get too hot.

If your pet ever shows signs of heat exhaustion (excessive panting, vomiting, lethargic behavior, etc.), immediately apply cool water to their paws and stomach, then head to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

3. Don’t Wait, Pick Up the Phone

Posting to social media that you’ve seen a pet alone in a car is not enough. If you see an animal in danger, don’t be afraid to report it. You could save an animal’s life just by picking up your phone. A pet showing signs of distress such as heavy panting, unresponsive behavior, seizure or collapse needs immediate attention. To report an animal in heat-related jeopardy, call your local police.

4. Leave Fido at Home

Beautiful sunny weather may tempt you into bringing your furry friend along for a run or bike ride, but heat stroke and possible death can occur in extreme temperatures. Pets will do everything in their power to keep up with their humans, putting their health at risk. Consult your veterinarian to see what summer exercise is best for your pet.

For more information on how to care for pets throughout the summer visit hsmo.org/hotweather.