Sure most of us roll our eyes when we hear warnings to be conscious of babies and the elderly when Chicago temps get high, but what about your pets?
Animals do love the outside, but just like humans, they have their limits and unfortunately they can’t tell us in words they are over-heated and don’t feel well. **The cover pic of my dog Burrito appears as if he’s laughing, but he’s really panting because he’s so hot!
Here are some friendly reminders from the Humane Society on how to keep our 4-legged friends safe in the extreme heat:
-Never Leave Your Pet Inside A Parked Car: Not even for a second with the air on! Here’s why-
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. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police.
-Shade And Water Are A Must : Just like humans it’s important to keep your pet hydrated and in the shade (that includes their water) It’s recommended to add ice cubes if you can. Plus, they say avoid outdoor dog houses in extreme because it actually traps the heat and can be worse for your pet.
-Limit Exercise On Hot Days : It’s important to get your pet exercise but be wary of how the time of day affects the heat intensity (stick to early morning and late at night when temps are usually cooler). They also warn to beware of pets with white ears!
Pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets who, because of their short noses, typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible.
Some other things you may not have known – Dogs can get sunburned (keep them shaded) , heat stroke can be deadly (unlike humans who can recover. Take them to the vet immediately) and over-feeding your pet in extreme heat is dangerous too because it makes them overheat.
So what are some things to do besides those tips to keep your animals protected?
- Get a Keep Cool Mat !
Small ones start at $24, but you can use them just as you would a blanket or pet bed, or stick them in their kennels/crates. Just soak it in water for about 20 minutes and it stays cool for up to 3 days! Think of it like an animal air conditioner!
-Make Peanut Butter Pops!
Everything in them are things you probably already have at your house, or could grab at a grocery store. Peanut butter, banana – heck you could even make enough for you and your friends to eat! It takes about 10 minutes to make and then about 3 hours to freeze. Try them out for the 4th!
Always use your best judgement when it comes to your own animal since you know them best! Never hesitate to pick-up the phone and call your vet or local animal shelter/humane society if you have questions! No such thing as a stupid question when you are protecting someone you love!
Enjoy the Chi-town heat & have an awesome and SAFE summer with your pet