LEAGUE CITY, Texas – As the weather heats up across the country, millions of people will be taking their pets on the road with them – and some of those pets may never return home. As of May 2018, 28 states have laws regarding leaving animals unattended in parked cars to protect them from unsafe and potentially dangerous conditions, one of these being high temperatures.
Veterinarian JoAnna Pendergrass at Honest Paws recommended these tips for caring for dogs during the hottest months of the year.
First, never leave a dog in the car. The inside temperature of a car rises rapidly in the summer. It could take only minutes for a dog to become fatally overheated.
Keep the house air-conditioned all day, even when no one is at home.
Walk a dog in the early morning and late evening, avoiding the hottest parts of the day. When walking a dog, try to walk it on the grass to protect the paw pads from the heat of asphalt.
Keep a dog indoors where it’s cooler as much as possible. Elevated cots and cooling pet pads give the pet a cool place to lie down.
When playing outside with a dog, make sure that it has easy access to cool, fresh water. If a dog is relaxing or playing outside, make sure that it has access to shade, consider using a portable sun shade.
Pay close attention to signs of heat exhaustion: dizziness, excessive panting, difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, not urinating, weakness, vomiting or diarrhea, rapid pulse and abnormally colored gums. If a dog is showing any of these signs, bring the dog inside immediately and call a veterinarian.
Consider purchasing UV-blocking clothes to reduce a dog’s risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Avoid shaving a dog’s coat, which is designed to keep the animal cool in the summer and protect it from sunburn.
Submitted by Honest Paws.