With the summer months in full swing, the Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC) wants to remind pet owners that hot weather poses a dangerous threat to animals, as well as provide tips for what to do when temperatures soar.
Leave your pets at home. Although the outside temperature may seem comfortable, the temperature inside a parked car - even one parked in the shade - can soar in minutes. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car, even with the windows cracked, can climb to between 100 and 120 degrees. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than ten minutes.“We recommend never leaving your pet in a parked car during the summer months, even if it’s ‘just a minute’ while you run an errand,” said Crystal Mowery, Interim Co-Executive Director and Field Services Director. “Internal damage begins quickly as the animal’s organs begin to overheat. The safest thing to do is to leave your pets at home.”
Provide plenty of cold, fresh water and shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them ample fresh water. Whenever possible, they should remain indoors but be sure there is plenty of shade when they’re outside.
Limit exercise. In extreme heat and humidity, do not over-exert your pet with an intense or lengthy bout of exercise. Exercise should be limited to early morning or evening hours.
Keep their paws off the pavement. Hot asphalt can burn sensitive paw pads, so walk them in grass or keep the walk brief.“If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws,” Mowery stated.
HSWC’s Field Services Officers are responding to concerns about animals left outside without adequate water and shade. Anyone with concerns about an animal in Washington County not receiving the minimum requirements of care, please call HSWC Field Services at 301-733-2060 ext. 203. The after-hours emergency number is 301-790-7577.