HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Is your dog an outside pet? Or do you walk him on the cement outside? Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services says the number one rule is to always be mindful of your pet in extreme heat conditions.
“My thought is that pets should be able to be in a climate controlled environment all the time, just like us. So if you’re uncomfortable outside, guess what? They are too. Whether it’s hot or cold,” said Sheppard.
This means keeping them hydrated and remembering that they aren't able to voice their needs like we can. Also, if your pet is older, they run a higher risk of heat sensitivity.
“If you have a puppy or a kitten, or an older cat or older dog, they are much more sensitive. If they have health conditions, they’re much more sensitive. So I think everybody needs to be really thinking about their dog when it’s over 85 degrees,” said Sheppard.
In case your pet is always outside, Dr. Sheppard says just a dog house isn't going to cut it. “They need what I call dense shade. Not a dog house, but a huge tree with a big tarp under it and then the dog house and then a clean place because a lot of times dogs aren’t going to go in the dog house but they’re going to lay under the tarp under the tree on some clean dirt because it’s cooler for them,” said Sheppard.
Doctor Sheppard says there are some signs to look out for when your dog is trying to tell you he is over heated. “Dogs sometimes dig in their water when they get hot or they want to splash themselves off so you have to make sure, I mean it’s great for them to have a baby pool that you keep clean but also they need a water source that is secured so they cannot dump it over,” said Sheppard.