Prince George’s County shares hot weather tips to keep pets safe and alive in high summer temperatures.
Excessive high temperatures can be dangerous not only to humans, but to your furry companions as well. With the hot, steamy days of summer upon us, you can help keep your pets safe, cool, healthy and happy during the high-heat of summer with a few helpful tips from the Prince George’s County Animal Management Division (AMD).
- Remember! It’s against the law in the State of Maryland to leave pets in an unattended 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 can reach 120 degrees. Overheating can kill an animal; NEVER leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even with the windows open or the air conditioning running.
- Consider giving your pet a summer haircut to a one-inch length to help prevent overheating, but avoid shaving your dog to protect them from sunburn. Also, take them to the vet or local pet clinic for a summer checkup.
- Walk your dog in the early morning or evening. When the temperature is very high, hot asphalt can quickly burn the paw pads of dogs. If possible, walk your pet in the grass. If you’re planning outdoor activities with your pet, remember to carry extra water and a container for them to drink from.
- Take special precautions with pets that are old, overweight or have health disorders. Snub-nosed dogs (Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus) or animals with flat faces (Pugs, Persian cats) have compromised respiratory systems and are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant effectively. These pets, along with overweight animals and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. If you notice signs of overheating in your pets—excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate—get help from your veterinarian immediately.
- Don’t forget about your livestock companions. Make sure you provide them with plenty of water as livestock animals, including horses and donkeys, can consume 10 to 20 gallons of water per day.
Additional resources and information on keeping your pet healthy and safe in hot weather is available through the Prince George’s County Animal Management Division at (301) 780-7200 or www.princegeorgespets4us.com.
For more information, contact:
Lauren A. Kinard, Public Information Specialist
Prince George’s County, Department of the Environment
email@example.com; (301) 883-5957