Tips for Helping Animals Survive the Summer Heat

Posted on by PETA

As summer temperatures soar, here are some lifesaving tips on caring for animals in the scorching heat:

  1. Keep dog companions indoors: Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads, and they cool themselves by panting. High temperatures can cause them heat stress and physical injuries – including brain damage – and can even result in death.
  2. Have a cool spot in the house for cats: Create a well-ventilated space, with windows lined with protective netting or mesh, where cats can go to cool down in your house.
  3. Groom your animals: Brush your companions a few times a week to get rid of loose hairs so that they feel lighter and are more comfortable in high temperatures.
  4. Avoid leaving animals in parked cars: Never leave a dog inside a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods of time or even if the windows are slightly open. Even on a relatively moderate 41-degree day, the temperature inside a car can climb rapidly, reaching a dangerous 45 degrees in the shade and a deadly 71 degrees in the sun. Dogs trapped inside a hot car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if a car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
  5. Keep water outdoors: Place mud pots filled with cool, clean water outside your home or in places where there are community or working animals. Inexpensive mud pots will help keep the water cool and won’t tip over.
  6. Provide birds with water: Place bowls of water on window sills, on balconies, on terraces, and in gardens. Change the water regularly.
  7. Give working animals a break: Ask owners of bullocks, ponies, and donkeys to give the animals a rest in the shade, especially during the heat of the afternoon, and help the animals cool off by gently spraying water on them. Frequently offer them fresh drinking water and green fodder.
  8. Give animals a treat: Feeding working animals fruit and vegetables could be a good treat for them, as they are sweet and help them rehydrate.
  9. If you find an animal with heat exhaustion or stroke, take action: Laboured breathing and abnormal head movements are indications of heat exhaustion or stroke. Pour lots of water at room temperature on the animals’ body to cool them down, wipe them with a wet towel, and call a veterinarian to the site or transport the animal to the nearest veterinary facility.
  10. Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all the animals you see outdoors. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you find an animal in distress, contact humane authorities right away and give the animal water for immediate relief. Contact PETA if you need advice or a referral to a local animal-welfare organisation or veterinarian. Do not leave the animal’s side before help arrives.