January 27, 2021

ARL extreme heat safety tips for pets

With extreme heat ahead, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa reminds pet owners about these important summer safety tips:

• Never leave your pet unattended in your car if it’s above 70 degrees Leave your pets at home. Temps inside can reach fatal levels within minutes. Even with the windows cracked, the interior of a car can reach 99 degrees when it’s only 80 degrees outside, which can quickly become fatal for pets. During this time of year, the ARL receives several calls per day from citizens reporting distressed animals in locked cars. If you see a pet (or child) alone in a car, get specific location details and call it in.

• All animals should be given constant access to fresh, cool water. If there are feral cats or wildlife in your neighborhood, set out a bowl of fresh, cool water for them as well.

• Limit time spent outdoors. On days when it’s super-hot out, limit your pet’s outside time to potty breaks only. On cooler days, your pet can be outside more often, but be sure they have access to fresh water and shade at all times. Don’t push it while exercising. You can still go for your walks or jogs, but make sure to do them during the coolest parts of the day (early morning and late evening), and don’t overdo it. It’s much easier to overheat in high temperatures. Also be sure to feel the cement with the back of your hand. If you can’t keep your hand pressed to the cement for seven seconds, it’s too hot for your pet’s feet and can cause burns and blistering. Dogs who are old, overweight, or have short snouts are especially at risk to overheating even during regular routine, so consult your veterinarian on specific summer recommendations for your pooch. Keep auto coolant out of reach. This is something that should be done year-round, but summertime is when coolant puddles are more likely. Do not let your dog ingest auto coolant. It’s poisonous. Ask before you clip. Always consult with your groomer or veterinarian before clipping or shaving your dog’s coat. Even though your pet may look hot, their coat actually protects them from getting sunburned. Brushing your pet regularly can help get rid of any loose hairs and allows for better air circulation.