Hot weather can be fun to enjoy with our furry companions, but it’s important to remember your pet’s needs in warmer weather. Humans can choose to go inside or seek shade if it’s hot out, but pets don’t always have that option.
“Our pets often depend on us to make those choices for them,” says BC SPCA manager of animal welfare Kim Monteith.
Tips for summer pet safety
- Beware hot pavement: If you regularly jog or bike with your dog, be conscious of when you’re doing it. If it’s a hot day, the pavement can get dangerously hot for your pet’s feet.
- Exercise with caution: Choose to exercise with your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler, reducing the chances of your pet getting heatstroke.
- Be prepared: When hiking, camping or going to the beach, make sure you bring along a water bowl and water for your pet as well as an umbrella for shade. Towels can be used to dry off your pet and to give them an option of a place to lie down that’s not scorching hot.
- Offer cool treats: Freeze your pet’s favourite food or treat in a Kong. Invest in a kiddie pool for your pup and fill it with cool water for your furry friend to enjoy and play in.
Closely monitoring your pet is key to a successful summer outing. “Make sure they really are having a good time outside and are able to get out of the sun,” Monteith says. She also reminds guardians to never leave a pet in a hot car, even if it’s in the shade with the windows rolled down and only for a few minutes, because a few minutes is all it takes for pets to suffer heatstroke or worse. Leaving them at home where it’s cooler can be best.
People need to keep safe, too!
When you’re outside having fun with your pet, it can be easy to forget to check in with yourself and others to see if the heat is getting to be too much. Some people, including seniors and those with certain medical conditions, have less ability to regulate their body temperature and are therefore more at risk of heat-related illness. Be sure to know the signs.