Summer Heat Pet Safety Tips

by Sharon Kutsop

Summer is upon us, and many areas are feeling the effects of high heat and humidity. Here are a few quick tips on the essentials for keeping all of the animals in your care cool and safe this season.

MJ, available from S&L Rescue

MJ, from S&L Rescue, has plenty of shade as he gets play time in.

First and foremost, make sure all animals have a constant supply of cool, fresh water. You can even drop some ice cubes in to keep the water cooler for longer as well as providing some fun chew toys for the dogs who will pull them out and play with them. Pupsicles and Catsicles are also fun, inexpensive and easy ideas for keeping the animals cool and happy!

If you have a play yard available for the dogs, adding a couple of baby pools and even a sprinkler will make for a great afternoon of cool fun for the dogs in your care who enjoy water. If you don’t have those items, you can try adding them to your wish list or make a special call out for them on Facebook. Overall, though, you will want to limit the activity levels of all animals during periods of very high heat. Instead of walking the dogs outside, try playing thinking games instead. You can find some ideas for brain games via enrichment posts, click here.

Bouncy from NJ Puppy Rescue

Bouncy, from NJ Puppy Rescue, enjoying a supervised afternoon in the grass.

To be on the safe side, everyone at your organization should know the signs of heat stress/stroke. These include heavy panting, excessive drooling, rapid heartbeat, glazed over eyes, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting, excessive thirst and fever (the temperature of a dog should never rise above 104 – if it does, follow the guidelines below). If you have an animal in your care who is overheating, get him or her to a shaded or air conditioned area first. Then apply  cold towels to their head, neck and chest. Most importantly, get the animal to a vet as soon as possible for further medical care.

For more summer tips, visit our Summer Pet Safety page.