on Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Every summer, hundreds of cats and dogs die needlessly due to their owners not taking the proper precautions regarding the extreme heat. Follow these simple tips to ensure your beloved pet enjoys - and survives - the warmest time of the year.
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If it's above 70° F, leave your pet at home!
Temperatures inside cars can reach fatal levels within minutes. Even with the windows cracked, the interior of a car can reach 99° F when it’s only 80° F outside. During this time of year, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa receives around five calls per day from citizens reporting distressed animals in locked cars.
If you see a pet (or child) alone in a car, call it in. Your call could save a life.
Within Des Moines: Call DMPD Dispatch (515) 283-4811
Outside of Des Moines: Call your local law enforcement number
Ensure access to fresh, cool water
All animals need to quench their thirst. If there are feral cats or wildlife in your neighborhood, set out a bowl of fresh, cool water for them as well.
Limit time spent outdoors
On days when it’s super-hot out, limit your pets outside time to potty breaks only. On cooler days, your pet can be outside more often, but be sure they have access to fresh water and shade at all times.
Avoid hot cement or asphalt
You can still go for your walks or jogs, but make sure to do them during the coolest parts of the day (early morning and late evening)— and don’t overdo it. It’s much easier to overheat in high temperatures.
Also be sure to feel the cement with the back of your hand. If you can’t keep your hand pressed to the cement for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pet’s feet and can cause burns and blistering.
Keep auto coolant out of reach
This is something that should be done year-round, but summertime is when coolant puddles are more likely. Do not let your dog ingest auto coolant. It’s poisonous!
Ask before you shave your dog's coat
Always consult with your groomer before clipping or shaving your dog’s coat. Even though your pet may look hot, their coat actually protects them from getting sunburned. Brushing your pet regularly can help get rid of any loose hairs and allows for better air circulation.
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