Everyone is aware that the Florida heat is brutal and being exposed to too much heat can be life-threatening even for our furry friends. Positively Osceola spoke with Mary Gray, a veterinarian at SNiP-it to get some tips on keeping your four-legged friends safe this summer.

Don’t Leave Pets Outside for Extended Periods of Time

Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their bodies. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly. This is especially important to watch out for if your dog or cat is normally an indoor pet. Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.

Clean and Fresh Water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have plenty of fresh, cold water. When the temperature is soaring, add ice to water when possible. Make sure the water is changed on a regular basis. This will keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in that water.

Provide Shaded Area

Proved a shaded space for your pet while it is outside. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse, however, does not provide relief from heat—it actually makes it worse. Dogs, in particular, like to lay on cool surfaces which is why you may find holes in your yard. Digging provides a cool spot for them but can also stir up fleas so make sure your pet is being treated for heartworms and fleas.

Keep Pet Off of Hot Surfaces

Have you ever walked across the driveway with no shoes on in the middle of the day? You end up running because the heat coming off of the concrete is burning the bottom of your feet. Now imagine what that would feel like on the paws of a dog or a cat. It is best to find shaded areas when walking your dog to minimize the risk of its paws burning. This also goes for visits to the beach, the sand can becomes very hot so keep that in mind when taking your dog with you to the beach this summer.

Absolutely DO NOT Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car!!

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. Did you know on a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. For example, within 10 minutes an 85-degree day can reach 102 degrees, inside a car with the windows opened slightly. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees! Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see a pet in a parked car please inform the police.

Following these helpful tips will keep your pets safe and cool this summer! Thank you SNip-it for making a positive difference in Osceola County. Remember to stay cool out there and take care of those loveable furry friends this summer!

SNiP-it‘s mission is to provide the residents of Central Florida with humane solutions to the pet overpopulation problem through education and by offering low-cost spay/neuter services.