The American Red Cross sent out a few steps to ensure our pets’ safety, and we’re sharing them with you along with a few notes from our experience as pet parents!
1. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN A VEHICLE.
Veterinarians and the Humane Society both agree that a pet should not be left alone in a car, regardless of the temperature. No matter how long you plan on going out, take your pet with you for their safety and your peace of mind.
Pro tip: Don’t leave your pet inside a car; if someone with a smartphone happens to pass by, there’s a high chance you’ll be trending on Facebook—and not for the reason you like.
2. CHOOSE COOLER TIMES OF THE DAY TO EXERCISE.
Early in the morning or almost sundown onwards would be the optimal times for both you and your pet to have a walk.
Pro tip: if there’s an accessible park or walking route near your area with plenty of trees and shade, go for a walk anytime but keep hydrated!
3. WALK YOUR PET IN THE GRASS / IN COOLER SURFACES.
Unlike us humans, our best furry friends aren’t usually in shoes. If their feet are unprotected, they might burn their precious little paws!
Pro tip: If you’re planning to protect your pets’ paws using shoes, get ones that are right for them. Ill-fitting shoes can cause more damage than good–just like shoes for humans, wrong shoes for your pet can injure them.
4. SHADE AND HYDRATE OUTSIDE PETS.
If your pet stays in the backyard or porch, always check if they have ample water and ensure that they have a cozy place with shade that could protect them all day.
Pro tip: Add ice cubes to your pet’s water during the hotter times of the day to refresh them and cool them down. Also, confirm if their shade protects them all day. Because of the sun’s movement, some places that have shade at one time might not have shade later–make sure your furkid isn’t out in the sun!
5. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS UNSUPERVISED NEAR THE POOL.
While some dogs can swim, others might not be able to. A swimming pool is an attractive nuisance–even to pets, so always keep an eye out for them!
Pro tip: teach your pets to swim, or make the pool inaccessible to your furkids so you never have to worry!
6. AT SOCIAL EVENTS OR BARBECUES, KEEP THEM AWAY FROM THE GRILL; REMIND YOURSELF AND OTHERS THAT SOME FOOD ARE HAZARDOUS TO THEM.
Do not give them grapes, onions, raisins, chocolate, and other food with artificial sweeteners. More importantly, inform guests that feeding pets might undo the training that you’ve done with them.
Pro tip: If a guest isn’t listening, tell them that your pet has a strict diet and feeding them something out of that diet might be dangerous to the dog. *wink*
7. KEEP DOORS AND WINDOWS CLOSED AND INACCESSIBLE TO INSIDE PETS
If your pet has a habit of going out an open door or window, make sure all their usual routes are closed–for their own good.
Pro tip: Add screens to your doors and windows if you haven’t yet. This way, air still circulates in your home!
8. ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE
Keep your hotdogs strictly on buns! Dogs with shorter noses, thick fur coats, overweight pets, or those with respiratory problems are more prone to heat strokes. Even if they’re not prone, look out for visible signs that your pets are in need:
Heavy panting and inability to calm down even when lying,
Gums changing color to brick red
Inability to get up
In case there’s cause for concern, get a rectal temp check. If it’s 105 degrees and above, cool them down with water. Once they’re at 103 degrees, they’re okay.
Bring your pet to the vet to get checked because heat strokes can lead to irreparable damage and severe organ dysfunction.