With a heatwave scorching the United States for at least the next week and a half, PETA and the Pasadena Humane Society say it’s important to pay special attention to the well-being of pets.
A heat advisory is in effect the National Weather Service forecasts hot weather in the high 90s for Pasadena through Aug. 4.
While it feels hot for humans, animal experts say pets feel that hot weather the same as you but can’t tell you when they need water or a cool room.
“Animals generally feel the same temperature we feel and they are particularly vulnerable,” said Jack Hagerman, director of communications for the Pasadena Humane Society.
PETA said like children and the elderly, animals are among the most susceptible to the heat, and one mistake can cost someone’s life.
Hagerman expanded on what should be common sense tips, but it’s worth a reminder to run through his advice.
“Do not leave your pet in a locked hot car, it’s inhumane,” Hagerman said. “Leave them at home in an air conditioned room or at least a room where they can escape the heat. Make sure they have fresh water.
Walk your dog at the cooler parts of the day.
“I don’t recommend taking your dog for a walk during mid day because aside from the temperature, the pavement is hotter and dogs can get blisters on their feet,” he said.
You can get your pet little boots, but will they actually be used?
“They’re effective if you can get your pet to wear them,” Hagerman said. “Animals don’t always like having shoes on.”
Hagerman made additional suggestions.
“Also if your pet has a house outside of your house, you want to make sure it’s in the coolest place and out of direct sunlight,” he said. “If the doghouse is plastic it will keep the heat in and will feel like a sauna and they won’t use it.”
Since last year, there have been at least 96 hot weather–related animal deaths reported. PETA said most go unreported.
PETA suggests doing the following in order to safeguard humans and animals:
— If you see an animal left alone inside a car, call local humane authorities or 911 immediately and remain on the scene until the situation has been resolved. If authorities are unresponsive or too slow and the animal’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness who will back up your assessment before carefully removing the animal from the car.
— To treat suspected heatstroke, wrap a cool, wet towel around the head and neck without covering the eyes, nose, or mouth, and wring out, resoak, and reapply it every few minutes. Pour lukewarm water over the animal’s body, and wipe excess water away, especially from the abdomen and between the hind legs. When authorities arrive, insure that the animal is taken to a veterinarian for further care.
Law enforcement officials across the country are also warning people of the dangers of hot weather.
“Every year, we alert people to the danger of leaving children or pets inside cars in the summer,” says Chief of Police James R. Kruger Jr. from Oak Brook, Illinois. “The temperature inside a vehicle climbs approximately 43 degrees in just an hour. The loss of a defenseless animal in this manner is avoidable and should never happen. There is no reason to take your pet out in extreme heat without adequate air conditioning and water.”
Anyone who leaves a child or an animal to bake to death in a vehicle could face felony charges.