Pets often become more like family members, and in the case of dogs (and the occasional cat), we tend to take them wherever we go. But before you pack up Fido for a summer road trip, it's important to think about how to keep your beloved pet safe when temperatures are extreme.
How Hot is Too Hot?
Pets have different types of fur, and they also have a higher baseline body temperature, which means that your pet does not experience heat the same way you do. Pets cool themselves differently than humans, and some are better able to cool themselves than others. So don't rationalize leaving your pet in hot weather by telling yourself that if you can handle it, so can they. Get to know how your pet reacts to heat when walking, traveling, or spending time outdoors. And if the mercury climbs above 90 degrees, use extreme caution when doing any of these things with your pet.
Tips for Car Travel:
Within minutes, the interior of your car can become sweltering, up to 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside and well beyond what your dog can safely handle. When it's that hot, cracking the windows really makes no difference: your pet could die or be seriously harmed within a very short time period. So if you're considering taking your pet along on a trip, think about it like traveling with a young child. Pay attention to their comfort level and be prepared to stop frequently for potty breaks, water, and walks. Plan your stops along the way, and always have a place for your pet to stay outside the car if you need to leave them alone for a short period.
Pets & Heatstroke:
Just like humans, pets can get heatstroke, and it can be dangerous or even deadly. If your pet's respiratory rate is high, or they show signs of disorientation or even seizures after heat exposure, get them to a vet immediately. Other signs of heat illness in pets include extreme thirst and panting, fever, and vomiting.
Always have your vet's number on hand, and be sure to research emergency vets in the places you are traveling.
- During warmer months, adjust your dog's schedule so you are not walking them during the hottest hours of the day. Instead, walk in the early morning and late evening.
- Give your pet access to a sprinkler or kid-size pool, or lightly spray them with water to help them cool down.
- Make sure they always have access to water and shade, and never leave them unsupervised for long.
- Never leave your dog alone in a parked car, even with the air conditioning on and/or the windows cracked.
- When it's hot outside, the asphalt will be much hotter. If you wouldn't be able to walk around barefoot without getting burned, it's the same for your pet.
For any insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.