Summer is here and with it comes triple-digit temperatures. The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board is reminding dog owners that their four-legged friends are banned from all Phoenix hiking trails whenever temperatures are 100 degrees or higher. This ban was implemented almost a year ago due to the risks our pets face in such extreme heat. It was also the result of the board refusing to ban individuals from hiking in temperatures of 110 degrees or greater and instead having park personnel research the number of rescues while considering those rescues that were a result of unprepared hikers.
The Human Society also has some important tips on how to keep your pets out of the extreme heat this Summer:
- NEVER leave your pets in a parked car, not even for a moment. At a cool 72 degrees outside, your pet will experience temperatures up to 116 degrees within an hour.
- Minimize the amount of outdoor exercise on hot days. A great way to prevent your pet’s paws is to keep them off the hot asphalt during the hottest parts of the day. Try going on walks early in the morning or in the evening.
- Keep your pets in a shaded area out of the sun, perhaps under trees or a tarp. Also, try to keep them in an area with good air flow and keep plenty of water available nearby.
- Know the signs of heat stress in your pets. These can include a rapid pulse, heavy panting, vomiting, a staggering gait, glazed eyes, or a deep red or purple tongue.
If you believe your pet may be suffering from heatstroke there are a few key steps to ensure they cool off properly.
- Keep in mind that high humidity also affects your pets. Whenever your pets need to cool off, they do so by panting, however this is ineffective when the humidity is too high.
- Pets react to heat differently than we do, so do not rely on a fan to cool off your four-legged friends.
- Whether inside or outside, always make sure water is readily available to them. Ice-packs and cold damp towels can also cool your pet when applied to their head, neck and chest. Also, if your pet enjoys bath time, perhaps a cool soak will do the trick.