Hot Weather Safety Tips

Summer days mean more time for outdoor activities with your favorite four-legged companion. Read below for some tips and tricks to help keep your pets safe and comfortable while enjoying time outside!

If you’re hot, they’re hot

Unlike humans, dogs and cats are not covered in sweat glands and they don’t sweat the same way we do. Dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and noses and cats only on the pads of their feet. In fact, the primary way dogs cool themselves is through panting. As much as we love bringing our dogs everywhere with us, on really hot days, it is best to leave them at home.

If you do decide to bring them along for the ride remember to never, ever leave them in a parked car. Did you know that when it’s 70 degrees outside the temperature inside your car rises in to 89 degrees in just 10 minutes? Remember how pets can’t sweat? This combination of extreme heat and the inability to cool themselves can be fatal for your dog. In fact, it is illegal in Colorado to leave your dog in a parked car. If you see a pet left alone in a car and you think he’s in danger, legally you can enter a locked vehicle to help an at-risk animal. Learn more about the hot car immunity law at ddfl.org/news/know-new-hot-car-immunity-law.

How can you tell if you pet is overheating?

Great question. Understanding the signs of dehydration in pets will help keep them safe and comfortable. Cats and dogs drink water and pant to help keep them cool so it is really important that they have access to fresh drinking water and shade when outdoors. Dehydration can cause serious problems for pets. Some signs to watch for include, drooling, heavy panting, vomiting and diarrhea. If your pets show signs of heat exhaustion, bring them to a cool place, get them to drink water and call their veterinarian.

Enjoying our Colorado summers with your best bud

Dogs love going for walks and the warm summer weather shouldn’t prevent this from happening. On really hot days, try to plan your walks for earlier or later in the day when the temperatures are cool. Also, keep an eye on the pavement to avoid painful burns to the pads of their feet. If your pup is comfortable with it, they can wear socks or booties to protect their feet. Always make sure to bring water along for your pet to prevent dehydration.

Just like humans, pets can get sunburned, especially ones who have short or light colored coats. If your pet will be spending time outside, consider applying some pet specific sunscreen to prevent those painful burns – remember, human sunblock is not safe for pets. Also, it’s best to skip the summer haircut. While it seems shorter hair will keep your pet cooler, a pet’s coat will naturally help keep them cool in the summer. If you do get your pup a summer cut, be sure to leave an inch of hair to help protect their skin from sunburns.

Social events for social pups

We all love a good summer BBQ. And, for our social dogs it’s a fun way to include them in your plans. Pets should never drink alcohol. Never. It’s also best to stay away from sharing snacks and meals with your friend, so their diet isn’t disrupted. Plus, things like onions, raisins and some ingredients, such as chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol—commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods—can be deadly. Keep an eye on them while you’re socializing. Especially if it’s around the 4th of July. Pets can slip out open doors, or become frightened by loud noises, like fireworks and run away. Independence Day is responsible for more lost dogs than any other day of the year. Learn how to keep your pets calm and safe at ddfl.org/news/help-your-pets-stay-safe-this-fourth-of-july-2/.

Summer is a fun time for pets and people alike and nothing says Colorado like bringing your companion along on all your outings. No matter if you’re hiking, camping or lounging in your backyard keep a close eye on your pets to ensure they are comfortable and safe during our warmer months.

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