As many regions across the country continue to experience historically high temperatures, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is reminding pet owners that hot weather conditions can be particularly dangerous for pets. With temperatures expected to be above average throughout the summer, the ASPCA is providing the below safety tips to keep pets healthy over the next few months.
“It’s critical for pet owners to be prepared in cases of extreme heat, and we urge them to take the necessary steps to protect their pets as temperatures may rise across the country,” said Susan Anderson, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA National Field Response team. “Remembering to provide fresh water, keep pets indoors, and monitor for signs of heat exhaustion are three simple ways to ensure their health and well-being during the hot summer months.”
To help prevent warm weather dangers from impacting your pet’s health, the ASPCA advises pet owners to remember the following safety tips:
*Pets can get dehydrated quickly so it is important to make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water, a shady spot to get out of the sun, and a cool, indoor area when the weather is too hot to be outside.
*If air conditioning is unavailable, add ice to water bowls and give pets frozen treats like dog ice cream, frozen broth popsicles, chilled cucumbers, or frozen food toys to keep them cool and occupied while indoors. Place a fan in front of a pan of ice to generate cooler air, provide them with wet, cool towels to lie on, or sponge cold water on their feet, abdomen and under their legs.
*Never leave animals alone in a parked car. A car can overheat even when the window has been left cracked open. Not only can it lead to a fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in many states.
*When the temperature is very high, don’t let pets linger on asphalt, sand, or other hot surfaces. Being so close to the ground, their bodies can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
*It’s vital to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. If your pet is experiencing any of these issues, contact your local veterinarian immediately.
For more information on how to safeguard your pet’s health during a heatwave, visit aspca.org.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit www.ASPCA.org, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.