It’s hot, hot, with the forecast predicting triple digits blazing in areas all over Southern California.
As many brace themselves for the excessive heat, it’s important not to forget our furry members of the family. If you think it’s hot for you, it’s even hotter for our pets since dogs and cats don’t sweat through their skin and must work extra hard in order to cool down.
Our friends at L.A. City Pets have shared some helpful tips for pet owners to keep their furry companions safe, cool and happy during these SoCal heatwaves.
1. Always make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of fresh water to drink. A bucket that holds a gallon or more of water will stay cool longer than water in a shallow pan. Some dogs consider ice cubes a treat, and you can add a few to the water bowl.
2. Dogs and cats do sweat a little through the pads of their feet. The cats I know do not appreciate water added to any part of their body, but dogs often enjoy having cool water on their feet. Some dogs enjoy walking through or even lying in a child’s wading pool.
3. It is dangerous to leave your dog or cat in a car for 5 minutes. If he cannot go inside at every stop with you, he is safer at home on hot days! Car interiors heat very quickly in the hot sun, even with the windows open. If it is 85 degrees outside, it will climb to 102 degrees inside your car within ten minutes. In half an hour, it will reach 120 degrees or more! If it is 90 degrees out, temperatures can top 160 degrees faster than you can walk around the block.
4. While walking your dog outdoors, play particular attention the hot pavement or sidewalks that make your dogs walking area hotter and can even burn their feet. Early morning and later evening walks will be more comfortable for you both!
5. Animals who go outside need access to shade. Dark coats absorb heat. Lighter coated animals, especially white ones, are at higher risk for skin cancer from exposure to the sun and they are more susceptible to sunburn.
6. Longer coated dogs and cats who are brushed regularly have natural insulation from the heat. However, if the coat has gotten matted, a summer clip will make your buddy much more comfortable and allow you a new start at keeping him brushed. Remember, newly clipped animals can be sunburned.
7. If your dog spends time in the yard, make sure she has access to shade. Shade trees, a covered patio, or a cool spot under the porch can help keep her comfortable.