It’s summertime, and the living isn’t always easy for dogs. With the mercury soaring into the 90s in many areas of the country, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is offering the following tips for dog guardians on how to ensure that our best friends stay happy and healthy during the dog days of summer:
- Exercise is vital to a dog’s health, but on hot days, walking or jogging can be deadly. Unlike us, dogs can’t sweat (except for a minute amount through their paw pads) to cool themselves off, and they can quickly become overheated. Dogs will often collapse before giving up, and by then, it could be too late. Leave your dog at home when you jog, and walk him or her on shady streets or trails early in the morning or late at night. Take along a collapsible bowl and water bottle, and take frequent breaks. And before you head out, check the pavement. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Hot pavement can burn and blister dogs’ feet just as it can ours.
- Those of us who love our dogs would never leave them chained indefinitely, but we see it all the time—dogs left outside to suffer on scorching days. If you spot a chained dog this summer, check to make sure that he or she has clean drinking water, a sturdy doghouse, and access to shade throughout the day. (Keep in mind that the sun shifts.) If these basic necessities are missing, get the dog some water and report the situation to humane authorities immediately. Many areas have ordinances that ban dog chaining or require owners to meet animals’ basic needs, and owners can be cited and fined if they break the law.
- When we hop in the car, dogs love to go along for the ride, but on warm summer days, it’s often better to let them stay in an air-conditioned home. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach 120 degrees, even with the windows cracked open. On a 90-degree day, the temperature in the car will soar to 160 degrees in minutes. And mere minutes are all it takes for a dog to succumb to heatstroke, which can result in brain damage or death. Elisabetta Canalis reenacted what dogs go through when trapped in hot cars in an informative PSA.
- Never leave dogs alone in cars, and if you see a dog trapped inside a hot car, have the owner paged in nearby buildings and call animal control or 911. If you can’t find the owner, the authorities are unresponsive or too slow, and the dog’s life appears to be in danger, take steps to get the dog out of the hot car before it’s too late.
Dogs give us their all, and they deserve ours in return. Please help PETA save animals by keeping dogs safe when hot weather hits.
Image Source: bigbirdz/Flickr