Jacksonville Humane Society Reminds People to Protect Pets from Summer Heat | Urban Wildlife

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Jacksonville Humane Society Reminds People to Protect Pets from Summer Heat
Urban Wildlife

The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) is urging people to keep their pets safe from the summer heat.  The animal adoption and education center offers five tips to protect pets from the summer sun and high temperatures.

“Heat can cause serious problems for pets in the hot summer months,” said Dr. Jennifer Broadhurst, director of veterinary services at JHS.  “The high temperatures can cause dogs and cats to overheat, potentially leading to organ damage or death.”

Broadhurst offers the following tips for pet owners:

Never Leave Your Pet in the Car

In just minutes, the inside of a car can heat up to 120 degrees.  Pets left in cars can quickly become overheated, so it is best to leave your pet at home where they can stay cool.  If you have to transport your pet for some reason, never leave the animal alone in the car, even if you are running a quick errand.

Ensure Your Pet Has Ample Hydration

Pets can get dehydrated very quickly, so it is important to make sure they always have plenty of clean, fresh water, especially in the hot summer months.  If you take them to the beach, make sure your pet does not drink saltwater because it can make them sick.

 Exercise Pets in the Early Morning or Evening Hours

While pets still need to get plenty of exercise during the summer, owners should walk animals when temperatures are cooler.  The heat can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) or heat stroke in animals.  Signs of hyperthermia include heavy panting, drooling, unsteadiness and vomiting.  To help prevent heat stroke, limit exercise to the early morning and evening hours. 

Keep Pets Off Hot Asphalt and Sand

Hot asphalt or sand can burn your pet’s paws and lead to hyperthermia.  Pets release heat by panting as well as by sweating through the pads of their paws, so hot asphalt can limit an animal’s ability to cool itself.  Walk dogs on the grass and keep walk times to a minimum during the summer.  If you take your pet to the beach or pool, make sure to bring an umbrella to provide your pet with shade.

Protect Your Pet’s Skin with Sunscreen

Just like humans, pets can get sunburned, so put sunscreen on your animal’s nose and ear tips.  This is especially important in pets that have white fur and pink skin.  Try to limit your pet’s exposure to sunlight to no more than 30 minutes at one time.

“Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with the family pet,” said Broadhurst.  “Owners just need to remember to keep their pets cool so they can enjoy all the fun summer has to offer.”

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