High temperatures. Intense humidity. Storm-related power outages. The summer months can bring uncomfortable and even dangerous weather conditions. During this time, animals are vulnerable to overheating, organ damage and even death.
“The Prince George’s County Animal Management Division recommends that all pets be kept indoors during this extremely hot and humid weather,” said Chief Rodney Taylor, associate director at the Animal Services Facility. “Keeping pets hydrated and in a cool place are simple precautions that everyone can take to keep pets safe.”
Additional life-saving weather tips for pets include:
• Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Also, it’s against Maryland law to leave a pet in an unattended vehicle.
• Exercise your pet in the morning or evening hours. When the temperature is very high, hot asphalt can quickly burn paw pads. If possible, walk your pet in the grass. When planning outdoor activities carry extra water and a container from which your pet can drink.
• Keep pets groomed. Consider giving your pet a summer haircut to a one-inch length to help prevent overheating. Also, brush your cat more than usual to prevent problems caused by high heat.
• Take precautions with old, overweight or animals with special health conditions. Snub-nosed dogs (Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Shih Tzus, etc.) have compromised respiratory systems and must be kept in cool places as much as possible. Use a cooling body wrap, vest or mat to keep your pet from overheating indoors or outside. Soak these products in cold water, and they'll stay cool (but usually dry) for up to three days.
• Additional tips and resources for keeping pets safe during the summer are available online at The Humane Society of the United States and the Prince George’s County Animal Services Facility websites.
For more information on keeping your pet healthy and safe in any weather condition, contact County Click 3-1-1.