The heat of summer is upon a lot of us, with scorching temperatures of 95+ – and it’s barely July! Such temperatures are hard on people as well as pets. Like humans, pets need to keep cool, so running fans and air conditions in the home not only benefit us, but also benefit our pets. Like people, pets can experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so be aware of your pets’ health as you combat the heat.
Here are five tips for helping your pet deal with this year’s sweltering heat:
Also remember to not take your pet in the car and leave them there during the summer. Humans cool themselves by relying on an extensive system of sweat glands and evaporation; dogs and other animals have a more difficult time staying cool, therefore, they are very vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which happens frequently when pets are left in vehicles.
Parked cars quickly trap the sun’s heat. According to various studies done, a vehicle’s indoor temperature can rise 20 degrees F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30 degrees, and in 60 minutes, it can rise nearly 40 degrees. Even on a 70-degree day, if you leave for an hour, your car can be 110 degrees inside. Even having windows down somewhat makes little difference. Rarely does a summer go by without the tragic death of pets left in parked vehicles. Visit MyDogIsCool to learn more and print flyers to help others.
There are still many weeks left in the Summer of 2017, which means a lot more days of blistering temperatures. Let’s do all we can to make the season as comfortable and safe for our beloved pets as we can!
Too many times during the summer months, dogs get left in vehicles, their humans thinking if the windows are rolled down a bit and/or they park in the shade, the dog will be all right. Afterall, most dogs love car rides and spending time with their humans during travel; and, notably, we people enjoy having our furry friends for a ride-along. Yet, summer is a bad time to take your dog for a drive and then leave it in the vehicle while you run errands or have a doctor or hair appointment.
Studies show the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes and nearly 30 degrees in 20 minutes. The inside of a vehicle, even with the windows cracked, can climb to nearly 150 degrees. Children and pets left inside vehicles, even with windows opened a crack, can suffer heat stroke and die, and unfortunately, that happens all too often.
Each year, an average of 38 children and numerous dogs die because of being left in cars during summer. As of the end of June this year, 15 children had died from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle, and many dogs have already succumbed to death in a hot car, including a Georgia K-9 dog left in the cruiser by his police handler last month.
A veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward, created a video in which he showcases the rising temperature and describes the ramifications of leaving a dog inside a vehicle, even with all four windows cracked about an inch. See the YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tJJ79YoFvM. Dogs and children do not tolerate heat as well as adults; in fact, dogs don't sweat in the same way as humans, so their ability to cool down from hot temperatures isn't as effective as ours.
So, keep your dog cool the remainder of this hot season and don't leave your beloved friend (or your children) in the car!
Other ways to help keep your dog cool include:
Red Rover, an animal welfare nonprofit, offers tips and other information about keeping pets cool in summer. Visit their website for more information: http://www.redrover.org/mydogiscool.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.