Although the Sunshine State has beautiful weather year round, it can obviously get extremely hot and humid in the summer months. While we aren’t wishing for a polar vortex anytime soon, Florida’s hot weather can be dangerous, for both humans and pets. It’s important to take the appropriate steps to ensure your pets are cool and hydrated to prevent them from falling ill, suffering a heat stroke, or worse.
With National Dog Day on August 26th, we thought it would be the perfect time to update you on some pet safety relating to staying cool. Here are some tips to keep your four-legged friends safe and cool this summer.
Pets Susceptible for Heat-Related Illness
Some animals are more at risk for heat stroke and other heat-related sicknesses. These pets include:
– Puppies and kittens up to 6 months of age
– Older animals (large breed dogs over 7 years of age, small breed dogs over 14 years of age, cats over 12 years of age)
– Overweight animals
– Pets who overexert during work or exercise
– Pets who are ill or on certain medications
– Brachycephalic pets (such as bulldogs or pugs) or pets with a history of an airway obstruction
– Pets with fever, dehydration, heart disease or poor circulation
How to Know When The Weather Is Too Hot for Pets
Try to minimize bringing your pets outdoors when temperatures outside reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and when the heat index is over 75. Keep your home well ventilated, try to take dogs for their walks during dawn and dusk, never leave your pets in hot vehicles and be sure animals always stay hydrated with fresh and cool water nearby.
3 Tips to Keep Pets Cool This Summer:
1. How Humidity Affects Pets
While temperatures may seem mild, it’s important to consider the levels of humidity when it comes to your pet. The reason animals pant is to evaporate any moisture from their lungs. When they do this, it takes heat away from their body. If it’s a humid day, they may not be able to efficiently cool themselves, which can cause their body temperature to rapidly increase. Make sure to take extra precaution when it’s humid out to avoid your furry friend from suffering a heat stroke or a worse ailment. If it’s an extra humid day, you may want to consider limited outdoor time.
2. Provide Pets With Sufficient Shade and Water
If your pet is outside for an extended period of time, make sure to provide ample shade and lots of water. Providing a shady area can help to significantly lower an animal’s body temperature, but be careful of what kind of shade you provide—a doghouse is actually not a good way to keep them cool because it traps air instead of letting it circulate. Good forms of shade would be large, shady trees or flowing tarps. Providing water is a given, but make sure you are providing enough. On especially hot days, humans and animals alike can lose lots of fluids, so make sure your pet has more than enough water so they can stay hydrated.
3. Make Sure Your AC Is Working With Engineered Air
If outside temperatures are too high, it’s best to keep your pet inside for their safety, but make sure your air conditioning system is running properly and is efficiently cooling your home. It’s a good idea to ensure the thermostat is on the right temperature setting and make sure your air filter is clean. It may benefit you and your pet to check the outside unit too since brush and even animal urine can affect the outside system. As always, if your air conditioning system needs some TLC, contact your local professionals at Engineered Air.
At Engineered Air, we want to make sure you stay cool and comfortable all year round (pets included!). Your comfort is our #1 priority, so if your air conditioning system is giving you problems, contact us today.