Follow these important rules for keeping your pets cool during extreme heat

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Keeping your pets cool is important during this extreme heat wave. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

Temperatures recently in Huntsville have reached the upper 90s consistently, with heat indices topping 100 degrees. And while keeping ourselves cool is obviously a priority, we need to remember our four-legged friends as well.

Keeping your pets cool during extreme heat is as important to their health as feeding them, and not doing so could be tragic.

Keeping your pets cool during extreme heat

Girl and dog outside of apartment
There are several rules for keeping your pets cool during summer heat. (Lacey Spear / Hville Blast)

The health of your pets depends greatly on how prepared you are for extreme heat, and how you react.

“Our furry companions can really suffer this time of year if we aren’t cognizant of risks for heat-related health issues and prepare for their needs,”

Dr. Karen Sheppard, Huntsville Animal Services director

Huntsville Animal Services gives the following tips for keeping your pets cool during heat waves like the one we are currently experiencing:

  • Check weather forecasts.
  • Know the signs of heat stress in pets.
  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations updated.
  • Make sure there is access to plenty of fresh, clean water and shade while your pet is outside.
  • Never leave pets alone in a parked vehicle as it can lead to heat-related illness or death. Leave them at home while you are out and about.
  • While taking your dog for a walk is great exercise, avoid this activity during a heat wave. A dog’s paws can burn on hot asphalt. Also, a pet’s body is closer to the ground than yours and can absorb a lot of heat from pavement. 
  • Pay close attention to how heat might affect young puppies and kittens as well as elderly pets as they are more vulnerable to heat stress.

Be smart about pet ownership

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Even if your pet is used to being outdoors, it is still important to keep them cool. (Michael Seale/Hville Blast)

Sheppard also said pet owners need to be responsible when it comes to including them in your daily activities. For instance, don’t leave your pets unsupervised around a pool or lake, as not all dogs or cats can swim.

She also said to consult your vet on whether or not your dog or cat needs a summer haircut to keep them cool.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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