“If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets”: How to keep your pets cool during a heat wave

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Over the last few days, temperatures in the Miami Valley have approached or exceeded 90 degrees. Pets experts are reminding those who have furry family members to be cognizant of their health on these extremely hot days.

Jessica Garringer, marketing and public relations manager for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton said, “Really, the rule of thumb is, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.”

Samantha Hoefler, senior marketing manager at SICSA, said when the weather reaches high temperatures, pets can become uncomfortable due to their fur coats and inability to sweat. For those reasons, she said animal owners should be especially sensitive to their pet’s needs. 

“So you definitely want to make sure that your pet drinks a lot of water, or you might see some of the symptoms that they’ve become overheated,” she said.

Those symptoms include lethargy, excessive panting and an overall appearance of distress. But before it gets to that point, there are some things you can do to cool them off.

“Staying hydrated is critical in heat waves like we’re having right now,” said Garringer. “If you have to take your dogs on a walk, try to do it in the mornings or the evenings when the sun isn’t at its highest peak.”

Hoefler said that’s because extremely high temperatures can be painful on your pet’s paws.

“You definitely want to make sure that the concrete or the ground that they’re going to walk on is not too hot because you do have to worry about their paw pads,” she said. “And I always say, if it’s too hot for you to be outside, then it’s definitely too hot for your pet to the outside.”

You can also use cool towels to help your pets cool down, but experts say you should put them directly into cold water. And Garringer said one of the most important tips to remember on sweltering days is that, “your car can essentially turn into an oven, and it can be life threatening for your pet, even just having them in the car for 10 minutes. So really, especially with these really high temperatures that we’re experiencing right now, keep your pets at home. Keep them in the air conditioning as much as possible.”

If you do see a pet left in a hot car, Garringer added, your best bet is to call 9-1-1.  

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