Autumn comes with unexpected weather and drastic temperature changes. It’s important that you, as a pet owner, prepare your dog or cat for this weather. Here are our top hot and cold weather safety tips!
Hot Weather Safety
- Seriously consider leaving your pets indoors, especially if the outside temperature is warmer than their body temperature. Dogs cool themselves through panting, so if it’s too hot out, they can’t properly regulate their body temperature. This can result in heatstroke or death.
- Don’t leave your pets in the car. On a 75-degree day, a car’s temperature can spike to 100 degrees in only 10 minutes — even if the windows are cracked open. The temperature change is even worse in dark cars or cars that are parked in the sun.
- Watch out for hot pavement. If the asphalt is too hot for your bare feet, then it’s too hot for bare paws. Shield your pet’s paws with booties or protective wax.
- Make sure your pet always has access to fresh water. Avoiding dehydration is crucial in hot weather.
- Limit exercise. A hot day is not the time to run several miles. Try to also avoid going on walks or runs during peak sunlight hours. Instead, go outside in the early morning and evening.
Cold Weather Safety
- Use your own comfort level as a guide to when your pets can and can’t be outside. If it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably too cold for your pet.
- Look out for toxic chemicals. Antifreeze is poisonous to pets and they might try to drink it. If your pet walks on antifreeze, salt or any other type of de-icer, rinse their paws in warm water as soon as you get home.
- Even though it’s no longer summer, pets can still get dehydrated. And they can’t get enough water from eating snow either. Make sure their water bowls don’t freeze over.
- Protect your pet’s paws. Keep their paw hair trimmed and inspect paws for clumps of ice. You can also shield their paws with protective booties.
- Check hiding places in your car. Cats and other small animals like to burrow by a car’s still-warm engine. Knock on the car’s hood or honk your horn to scare away any critters. This will keep them from getting seriously hurt or killed when you start your car.
- If your pet will be outside, outfit them with a sweater or coat. Give dogs access to a dog house to shield them from the wind.
We hope you found this article helpful. Check our Resource Center for other pet safety tips!