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Florida Veterinary Referral Center (FVRC)

Summer Safety: Heat and Humidity

summer safety dog swimming

Summer Safety: Heat & Humidity

As temperatures rise and humidity levels soar, it's essential to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry companions. Here are some crucial tips to keep your pets safe and comfortable during hot and humid weather:

Hydration is Key

Just like humans, pets need plenty of water to stay hydrated in hot weather. Make sure your pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times, both indoors and outdoors. Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl to keep it cool throughout the day.

Limit Outdoor Activities

Avoid prolonged outdoor activities during peak heat hours, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM. Instead, opt for walks and playtime in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Hot pavement and asphalt can burn your pet's paws, so test the ground temperature with your hand before venturing out.

Provide Shade & Ventilation

Ensure your pets have access to shaded areas outdoors where they can seek refuge from the sun's intense rays. If possible, set up a canopy or umbrella to provide additional shade, and remember to promote air circulation indoors by leaving windows open or using fans. However, be mindful that relying solely on fans may not adequately cool down pets, as their response to heat differs from humans. So it’s important to pay close attention to your pets' comfort and utilize additional cooling methods like damp towels or ice packs when necessary.

Never Leave Pets in Vehicles

The interior of a parked car can quickly reach dangerous temperatures, even with the windows cracked open. Never leave your pets unattended in a parked vehicle, even for a short period. Heatstroke can occur within minutes and can be fatal.

Watch for Signs of Overheating

Be vigilant for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke in your pets, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, or difficulty breathing. Pay close attention to pets with short noses, those who are overweight, very young, old, or have underlying health conditions, as they are more susceptible to heatstroke. If you suspect your pet is overheating, quickly move them to a cool, shaded area, offer water, and seek veterinary care immediately.

Watch the Humidity

High humidity levels can exacerbate the dangers of high temperatures for pets. In combination, these factors magnify the risk of heat-related illnesses. Monitoring humidity alongside temperature is crucial, especially for pets prone to overheating.

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