Never leave your pets in a parked car, not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
As someone who resides in a small coastal city in the Pacific Northwest, I know that probably 5 out of 10 people in the region drive around with their 4 legged friends riding shotgun. We’re usually cool enough for our pets to be safe but as summer is fast speeding us up we will need to think about how the increasing temperature can place our pets into danger.
It important to think about the humidity and not just the ambient temperature. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes away heat from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels-very quickly. So in regions with higher humidity always consider this when determining if your pet can go for a ride with you or not.
Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in view of the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have trouble breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating
Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for example, sweat primarily through their feet.) So don’t rely on lovers they do not cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
Whenever your pet is outside, be sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are perfect because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse doesn’t provide relief from heat-in fact, it makes it even worse. Always make sure your pet has a place to escape the sun either under a tree or under a tarp covered area to be certain they don’t get overheated.