Keeping your pets safe during the summer months

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s that time of year when the temperatures rise, and more people go outdoors, but so do our pets!

“Definitely make sure they stay hydrated. Look out for signs of heat stroke, but don’t be afraid to get out and enjoy the weather,” Robin Young, with Richmond Animal Care and Control, said.

Be extra careful when playing outside with your pets or even taking them for short walks.

“Say over 90 degrees. If you have an active dog that wants to be out a lot and exercising, we always say exercise early in the morning, late in the day, so you aren’t in that prime time when animals get overheated,” Young said.

Never leave your pet in your vehicle, even with the windows rolled down. Temperatures rise really quickly in a car and can cause heat stroke and death in animals. If your dog has been exposed to too much heat, there are a few signs to look out for.

“Excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, collapse. So, if you notice anything like that, definitely seek shelter for your animal. Get cool water. They don’t recommend ice, cold water. But just put them in cool water, their paw pads, their belly, and consult with a veterinarian,” Young said.

And look out for your pup’s paws – especially on the blacktop.

”A lot of people don’t realize when you are taking your animal out for a walk that those sidewalk surfaces, parking lots, asphalt surfaces. We have shoes on usually, so we don’t notice it. But those paw pads, especially when those surfaces like that get really hot, and usually dark surfaces, can burn those paw pads,” Young said.

Certain breeds can even influence how you should prepare for the heat.

“Any short nose breeds, Bulldogs, French bulldogs, Pugs, naturally have a harder time in hot weather. So, definitely be careful of those breeds and only take them out like early morning and late in the day when it’s cooler,” Young said.

Never leave your pet in a hot car, and if you live in the city of Richmond, never tether your pet if it’s over 80 degrees.

“Just be aware of the temperatures outside. Normally, you can tether for an hour, but the hot extreme weather and extreme cold weather - you can’t tether at all,” Young said.

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