Hot weather tips for pets: 5 ways to keep your pets cool, safe and comfortable

Posted at 11:27 AM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 14:39:18-04

With dangerously hot temperatures on tap, it's an important time to know how to keep ourselves and our pets safe. 

Aside from the obvious danger of hot cars, summer heat can be harmful and even fatal to animals in many other ways, too. 

Animal rights group PETA offers a few tips and pointers you may not think of when temperatures soar:

  • Protect your pet's paws: We don't walk around on blistering pavement without shoes, so why should your pet? The group says on an 80-degree day, pavement can easily reach a sizzling 140 degrees. Walking without dog booties or other protective "shoes" can protect your pet from pain, burns, scarring and permanent damage.
  • Make exercise mild: Your loyal pet will likely collapse before giving up, so if you're exercising, never make them run along side you while you run or bike. Walks are best and of course get exercise done before the hottest part of the day.
  • No rides in the bed of your truck: Not only is it illegal in many cities and states, making your dogs ride in the back of your truck can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Dogs can be thrown from the car at sudden stops or be strangled if tied up. Plus, it's hot -- don't make them ride in the sun.
  • Know what to do in the event of an emergency: An animal overheating or suffering from heatstroke may be restless, panting heavily, vomiting, lethargic, clumsy or not eating. Immediately lower their body temperature by bringing them inside, applying a cold towel to their head and chest or putting them in cool water. Make sure they have water to drink, too. You should also ask a veterinarian for assistance.
  • Distressed strays can get help too: If your animals are comfortable, but you see a stray or other animal suffering in the heat, call Arizona Humane Society to get an Emergency Animal Medical Technician to the scene. It doesn't hurt to give them water and shade as soon as possible if you can, too. EAMT service is free from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. if you call 602-997-7585, ext. 2073.