With hot weather here, the Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) is reminding pet owners not to leave animals in their cars and offering other ways to keep them safe.
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads of their feet. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
AAWL & SPCA reminds pet owners that in the state of Arizona, it is against the law to leave an animal in a parked car if injury or death can be a result. Other heat safety tips include:
• Do not to over-exercise your pet. Only walk your dog early in the morning or at night well after the sun has set. Before walking, test the pavement—if it’s too hot for the palm of your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws, too.
• If your dog must be outside during the day, be sure that he has shade available at all times. Keep pets indoors if the temperature is over 90 degrees.
• At all times provide cool, clean water in a nonmetal, spill-proof bowl.
• Dogs get sunburns too. Be sure no skin is exposed to direct sunlight.
Other ways to help your dog cool off include treating him to “pupsicles” by freezing chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays; add bits of doggie treats before freezing. Or, use the hose to give your dog a bath and some summer fun. Be sure to let the water run until cool before spraying your pet.