If you’re reading this, it means you haven’t melted in this week’s heat yet – congratulations! We hope you’ve been enjoying cool places like the library, or various bodies of water around Massachusetts. If you’re a pet owner, we hope you’ve been making sure your pets keep cool also. Here are some tips for pet safety in the summer from the Humane Society:
- NEVER leave your pet in the car. Temperatures in cars can rise to become 30 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. This means on a 90-degree day, it might be 120 degrees inside your car. That is not the kind of hot dog we like in the summer!*
- Limit exercise on hot days. Try to walk during the cooler early morning or evening hours, and be aware that asphalt can be too hot for pups’ paws – walk in the shade or on grass if you can.
- Don’t rely on a fan. Did you know that dogs don’t sweat like people do? They sweat only through their feet, and cool off by panting. (If it’s too humid out, panting works less well – be aware.)
- Provide shade and water. If your pet is outside, make sure s/he has access to shade and water. You can even add ice cubes to your dog’s water for some extra cooling off.
- Help your pet cool off from the inside with “pup-sicles.” Here’s a recipe from the Humane Society.
- Cool off with a bath. Your cat probably won’t appreciate this technique, but water-loving dogs might.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke, including: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation (drooling), vomiting, unconsciousness. If your pet has heatstroke, cool him/her off as best you can and get to a vet.
*If library staff notice pets left in cars in the library parking lot, or if patrons report seeing pets alone in cars, we will make an announcement in the library. If the situation isn’t taken care of quickly, we will call the Arlington police non-emergency number or animal control. We don’t like to see animals suffer, so please don’t leave your pet in the car on hot days, even for a short time!