Summer can uncomfortable and even dangerous for everyone. Right now Washington DC is being pummeled by a heat wave. It's difficult to deal with the rising temperatures in addition to thick humidity. I've decided to put together a list of quick tips to help care for your furry loved ones when a heat wave hits.
Never Leave Pets in Parked Cars
Seriously, don't. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.
Avoid Walks in the Heat
I try to walk my two Dachshunds in the early morning or a night after the sun goes down. However, even then it can be too hot. I try to monitor them and watch for warning signs that they've had too much heat exposure. Those warning signs are glassy eyes and frantic panting.
Keep the Living Space Cool
My apartment has two large windows in the living room. This causes my apartment to heat up quickly! To maintain a cool temperature, I like to keep the blinds and curtains drawn.
Give your Pet Access to Shade and Plenty Water
Dogs sweat differently than humans do. They sweat from their paws. To help them cool off faster, I bought a large gel cooling pad. I put mine in the fridge over night when I know they are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time. Mine use it for naps when they're worn out from swimming in the river on the weekends.
Have an Emergency Plan
It's not uncommon for excessive heat to cause power outages and AC systems to stop working. It's important to have an emergency back up plan in case this happens. Research Pet Friendly hotels/motels to stay at until repairs are completed. It's also helpful to have a willing neighbor as a back up plan in case everything is booked. I have a packed bag with bowls, towels, treats, potty bags, bottled water that I can grab in a hurry as well.
I hope this helps everyone during this oppressive heatwave. Remember to stay hydrated and protected!