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How you can protect your pets from the heat

Tips and advice for keeping our furry friends safe
Posted at 7:37 AM, Jun 19, 2024

EAGLE, Idaho — Our weather team is forecasting hot days in the coming weeks and those scorchers won't just affect us, but our pets too. I spoke with a few local pet owners about what they do differently in the warmer months.

  • Do not leave your animal in the car, even if windows are rolled down and parked in the shade.
  • When the car is in direct sunlight for just 10 minutes, the inside can become almost 20 degrees hotter than the outside.
  • Take walks earlier or later in the day.
  • Make sure your pets have access to shade and cool weather.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

With hot days on the way, we reached out to the Idaho Humane Society who say that above anything do not leave your pets in a car.

"Of course, as the temperatures rise, car temperatures rise significantly. Even if the windows are down and even if the car is parked in the shade. That could come with heat stroke which could cause life-long issues or worst case scenario, a pet could die," said Kristine Schellhas of the Idaho Humane Society.

The American Veterinarian Medical Association says that even after just 10 minutes of sitting in the sun a vehicle gets almost 20 degrees hotter.

Owning a pet is not a new idea, so I went and talked to a few dog owners at a park in Eagle to learn about what they do differently in the warmer weather.

Lee McAleer explained, "In the afternoon we go on shorter walks and I also put paw balm on their pads, and that seems to help them on the concrete and the pavement."

"You definitely don't realize at first. It's not something that crossed my mind because we wear shoes when we go out and walk. The first time they were just acting weird and wanting to go back inside and realized it was way too hot on their feet," said Adelyn Mason.

McAleer continued, "When the weather is warmer, I take these two guys to the park earlier in the day. They just live to come down here. But when it is warm they run around and get hot in a hurry."

But after a long day at the park, Mason says she makes sure to keep her dogs inside the house.

Mason finished by saying, "A lot of people don't realize how important it is to at least have a shaded space outside. If you are going to keep your dog outside most of the time, that's fine, but making sure they have access to cool water and shade is so important because they overheat so much faster than we realize."

Veterinarians say the best way to tell if it is too hot for a walk is to take the back of your hand and touch the pavement. If it's too hot for you, then it's too hot for our furry friends as well!