Help Pets Beat the Heat
Pets are at the greatest risk of injury and heat-related health problems during the summer months. Follow these tips to keep your pet safe and cool:
Provide plenty of fresh water
Keep pets hydrated during hot weather by ensuring they always have access to fresh water, whether at home or on daily walks and outings.
Watch out for sunburn
Short hair pets and those with pink skin or white hair are most likely to burn. Water, sand and rocks at the beach reflect sunlight – putting your pet at increased risk. To prevent sunburn, control your pet’s exposure to the sun by limiting the amount of time outdoors and providing shade.
Find a cool place
- Use air-conditioning or a fan to keep your home cool.
- Provide shade outdoors.
- A gentle sprinkle from a garden hose is helpful to keep your pets cool.
- Never leave a pet unattended in hot weather on balconies or in unsheltered backyards.
Watch how much pets eat and exercise
- Overeating during hot weather can lead to overheating, so let your pets eat less.
- Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day.
Never leave your pet in a parked car
When the outside air temperature is 23°C, the temperatures inside a car can be more than 50°C. That kind of heat is extremely dangerous to pets and puts them at risk of heat-related illnesses that can quickly lead to death. Slightly opening windows or parking in the shade does not prevent temperatures from rising to dangerous levels.
In hot weather, it’s kinder and safer for pets to stay at home. If you have to take a pet with you, carry a spare key to help avoid accidentally trapping your pet in the locked vehicle.
Watch for signs of heat stroke:
- Rapid panting
- Lots of drooling
- Hot skin
- Twitching muscles
- A dazed look
Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that requires immediate intervention. Untreated, it can lead to death. Act quickly to cool down your pet by moving your pet to a shaded area, pouring cool water over your pet, and contacting a veterinarian immediately.
If your pet is accidentally locked in your car, call 911.
For more information or if you see a pet in distress due to the heat call Toronto Animal Services 416-338-PAWS (7297).