Florida’s scorching weather poses significant risks for pets, especially when left in hot cars. As temperatures soar above 90 degrees, our furry companions are at risk of overheating. Let’s delve into the dangers and explore safety tips to keep our pets safe during hot times.

Heatstroke is a serious concern for pets in Florida’s climate. Be vigilant for the following symptoms:

  • Rapid and loud breathing
  • High rectal temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Dehydration (skin around the muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Thick saliva
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy drooling
  • Agitation

Never Leave Your Pet in a Hot Car

Leaving pets in parked cars—even on seemingly warm days—is extremely dangerous. Car interiors can become lethal within an hour. Even when it’s only 72°F outside, a vehicle’s temperature can rise to 116°F. Remember that leaving pets in hot cars is illegal in most states.

Essential Safety Measures

  1. Keep Water Handy:
    • Pets dehydrate quickly, so always provide fresh, clean water.
    • If your pet shows signs of overheating, cool them down by pouring cool water over their head and body or submerging them in a tub of cool water.
  2. Get Cooling Supplies:
    • Consider using battery-operated fans, cool chamois clothes (avoid ice-cold materials), cooling vests, or cooling crate pads.
    • These items help deflect heat and keep your pet comfortable.
  3. Plan Ahead When Traveling:
    • Avoid errands that your pet can’t join you for.
    • Pack water, treats, and a travel bowl.
    • Consider using cooling vests or wraps during outdoor activities.
  4. Emergency Preparedness:
    • Freeze cooling vests in advance.
    • Keep emergency water bottles in the fridge.
    • Familiarize yourself with the signs of heatstroke and seek veterinary care promptly if needed.

Remember, our pets rely on us to keep them safe. Let’s ensure they stay cool and comfortable during Florida’s hot weather! 🐾🌞