SALT LAKE CITY — With the temperatures rising, many people are trying to find ways to beat the heat, and the Humane Society of Utah wants you to remember to keep your pets cool as well.
Here are some tips given by HSU to help keep your furry friends safe this summer.
Never leave an animal in a parked vehicle
When the outside temperature reaches higher than 65 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can become fatal within minutes, HSU said in a news release. Even if the car is parked inside the shade or the windows are left open, the vehicle interior becomes very hot very quickly.
Always make sure to take animals inside with you when you leave the vehicle.
Be aware of hot asphalt
When the temperature is high, sidewalks and asphalt driveways can get very hot. To prevent your pets from burning their sensitive paw pads on the pavement, walk them early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler.
Never shave your dog
While it is wise to trim your animal’s hair during the hot summer months, you should never completely shave them. The layers of a dog’s coat protect them from overheating or sunburning, according to HSU.
“Brush dogs and cats more often, and make sure any sunscreen or insect repellent used on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals,” HSU said in the news release.
Just like people, animals get dehydrated and can overheat. Make sure your pet always has plenty of water available. If you take your dog hiking, remember to give it water whenever you stop for a water break.
Keep your pet cool inside and out
Pets respond to heat and humidity differently than people do, and fans don’t cool off animals as effectively as they do humans, HSU said. People can cool off their pets in a variety of ways, including feeding them homemade frozen treats or ice cubes and placing a cold rag around their neck.
People should also provide plenty of shade for their pets, avoid over-exercising them and keep them indoors when temperatures are extremely high.
Recognize signs and symptoms of overheating
Pet owners should make sure they can recognize when their animal is overheating. Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, dry gums, refusal to eat, mild weakness, excessive thirst, lethargy, vomiting, seizures and unconsciousness, HSU said.
Pets that are particularly young, elderly, overweight, have short muzzles or have heart or lung disease should be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible, HSU said. If you suspect heat stroke, you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
Faith Heaton Jolley is a UVU graduate and currently works at KSL as head writer for ksl.com and runs the Outdoors & Recreation section. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.