The Summer is great time to enjoy the outdoors but can present challenges in terms of high heat, smoke from wildfires, and how to protect special categories like seniors, and animals with short snouts. In general, temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit can quickly get extra risky, so try to avoid going outdoors if it’s anything hotter than that.
Walking in the Summer should be planned for early morning or evening when the sun is not so intense. If you live in an area with a park, that is ideal and the trees can provide welcome relief from direct sunlight. This is especially important if you are exercising as heat stroke can occur quickly. If you have a working animal, using a cooling coat or cooling bandanas can help keep them cooler.
If you regularly jog or walk your dog, be aware of the pavement. Dogs sweat through their pads, and an overly hot pavement can inhibit their ability to cool off, and also burn their pads. A quick check is to put your hand on the pavement, and if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pup.
Outdoor excursions: When hiking, camping, or going to the beach, make sure you bring along a water bowl and water for your pet as well as an umbrella for shade. Use towels to both dry off your pet and to give them an option of a place to lie down that’s not scorching hot.
If you have animals with short coats or light colored heads consider using a sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Even using coconut oil or jojoba oil can offer a bit of SPF protection.
Also make sure your pets have plenty of access to fresh water both inside and outside of your home. If you have room, a cooling pad can be used to help them keep cool, and a kiddie pool with just a few inches of water can be a great respite from the heat.
Pets in cars: If you go out in the car, leave your pet at home rather than in a hot vehicle, where it can take less than 10 minutes for a pet to suffer irreparable brain damage or even death from temperature rises inside the car.
Wild Fires & Poor Air Quality
- Keep pets indoors as much as possible, and keep your windows shut.
- Birds are particularly susceptible and should not be allowed outside when smoke or particulate matter are present.
- Let dogs and cats outside only for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.
- Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Exercise pets when dust and smoke has settled. Choose indoor games and toys to keep them busy.
- Have a pet evacuation kit ready, and include your animals in your disaster preparedness planning.