Temperatures are soaring, and with the scorching heat waves hitting Indiana and Illinois and the rest of the United States, it's crucial to remember that our pets need special care during the sweltering heat. According to Weather.com, this has been the hottest month on record, and the heat has been brutal - and dangerous as heat indexes climb into triple digits.

While we take precautions for ourselves, we must also consider the well-being of our furry companions, especially with heat advisories in effect for much of the country. The Humane Society of the United States offers valuable tips to ensure your pets stay safe and cool this summer.

Never Leave Your Pets Unattended in Parked Cars

Even a short time in a parked car can be fatal for pets and animals. On warm days, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels, causing irreversible organ damage or even death. Always keep your pets at home or find pet-friendly locations when running errands.

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Monitor Humidity Levels for Pet Safety

High humidity combined with intense heat can be extremely dangerous for pets. Their ability to cool down through panting is hampered in high humidity conditions, leading to potentially lethal body temperatures. Keep your pets in cool, shaded areas and provide plenty of fresh water.

Adjust Exercise to Beat the Heat

Adjust the intensity and duration of your pet's exercise based on the temperature. On extremely hot days, exercise your pets during the cooler morning or evening hours. Avoid hot asphalt, as it can burn their paws.


Choose Shade and Water Over Fans

Unlike humans, pets don't respond effectively to fans. Fans may not provide sufficient cooling for them, so focus on providing shade and proper hydration instead.

Ensure Ample Shade and Fresh Water

Whenever your pets are outdoors, ensure they have access to shade and a generous supply of cold water. Consider adding ice to their water during heatwaves. Avoid using doghouses, as they can trap heat and make the situation worse.

DIY Cooling Solutions for Happy Pets

Help your pets stay cool by preparing DIY "pupsicles" or using cooling body wraps, vests, or mats. Soak these items in cool water to provide relief for up to three days. Some pets may also enjoy a cooling soak.

Recognize Heatstroke Warning Signs

Heatstroke is a serious risk during scorching summers. Be vigilant for signs such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, lethargy, and more. Breeds with short muzzles are particularly vulnerable.

Emergency Heatstroke Treatment for Pets

If you suspect heatstroke, move your pet to a shaded or air-conditioned area. Apply cold towels or ice packs to their head, neck, and chest, and allow them to drink small amounts of cool water. Then, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Plan Ahead for Pet Safety During Power Outages

Excessive heat can put a strain on local power grids, increasing the risk of power outages, and putting your pets at risk. Have a disaster plan in place to keep them safe and cool during such situations.

By following these essential pet safety tips, you can ensure that your furry friends stay healthy and happy throughout the summers in Indiana and Illinois regardless of how hot it gets. Keep them safe from heat stroke, dehydration, and other temperature-related troubles, and enjoy the summer months together.

[Source: Humane Society of the United States]

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