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Drew: Pet Safety During Hot Summer Heat

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Last month’s safety articles explored different heat safety tips during a heat wave for humans. This topic is also important to discuss for the safety of our pets. Where our geographical region is no longer experiencing a heat wave at the moment, the daily temperatures and humidity remains high, making heat safety very relevant.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report states that surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) between 1901 and 2016. The report further states that the current time period is the warmest in the history of modern civilization. During the last few years, the world has experienced the warmest temperatures on record. These weather trends, and heat waves, are expected to continue, according to the report.
If extreme heat is dangerous for humans, know it is also dangerous for pets. So, let’s practice basic summer safety to protect our pets from our hot summer heat. Two well-known and respected organizations were used to gather information on this topic – the Humane Society and the nation’s oldest animal welfare organization, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The next few articles will share with you the recommended safety heat precautions for pets beginning with the ones listed below:
• visit the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup:
Make sure your pets get tested for heartworms if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.
• never leave your pets in a parked car:
One minute is too long, not even if you leave the car running and the air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. This could result in your pet having a heat stroke. Remember in many states it’s illegal.
• keep plenty of fresh, clean water
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it is hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it is extremely hot.
• do not rely on a fan
Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. For instance, dogs sweat primarily through their feet. Fans do not cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
As the summer heat and humidity continue to rise where the nights are in the 70’s, it is increasingly important that you Keep an Eye on Safety for you, your family, and your pets.