With the record-breaking heat we’ve been experiencing in Colorado, we thought it was a great time to remind everyone how to keep their pets safe and comfortable during the Dog Days of Summer.
Never leave your pet in a car unattended. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach upwards of 115 degrees in just 20 minutes. Without the ability to cool themselves, pets are at significant risk of suffering from heat stroke or death if left unattended for any length of time in a parked vehicle.
Test the pavement. Dogs can easily burn the pads of their feet on hot days when the sidewalk and streets become heated. Try placing the palm of your hand on the pavement. If it burns you, it will burn their feet.
Avoid strenuous activity. Hiking is a favorite pastime of many Coloradans, and there’s nothing better than having our best four-legged adventure partner join in the fun. These hikes can be challenging and sometimes dangerous for our dogs on hot days. Try to pick shaded hikes with access to fresh water, and it’s often best to go out early in the day when the temperatures are cooler. If you’re unsure if it is safe for your pet, it’s best to exercise caution and leave them at home.
If your dog will be spending time outside in the summer, give them easy access to fresh, cool water and a place to get out of the sun.
Summer means BBQs and time with friends where your pet may have access to food and drink items that might be dangerous if ingested. Set boundaries with your guests on what your pet can and cannot have, and keep all food out of reach, so they aren’t tempted to help themselves to a snack.
Most importantly, know the symptoms of overheating in animals. Signs include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness, and collapsing. If you notice any of these symptoms and are concerned about your pet’s wellbeing, seek veterinary attention immediately.
If you are concerned for the wellbeing of another pet or see an animal left unattended in a vehicle, call your local animal control or authorities.