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 grow rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, by way of 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 undergo irreversible organ damage or die.
As someone who resides in a tiny 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 are usually cool enough for our pets to be safe but as summer is fast speeding us up we need to think about how the increasing temperature can place our pets into risk.
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 areas with high humidity always think about this when determining if your pet can go for a ride with you or not.
Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be particularly careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more vulnerable to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.
Pets respond differently to heat than individuals 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 clean, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree color and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat-in fact, it makes it even worse. Always ensure that your pet has a place to get out of the sun either under a tree or under a tarp covered area to be certain they don’t get overheated.