As summer heat arrives, here’s how to keep your pets safe

Weather

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — With temperatures in the 80s and 90s, Southern New Englanders are getting their first taste of summer.

But even in the heat, our pets need to get outside from time to time.

Anyone who’s walked barefoot on hot sand at the beach or on pavement that’s been baking in the sun knows that even short distances can be a painful experience.

It’s important to remember that it’s no different for pets walking on those same hot surfaces. The pads on their paws can’t withstand scorching temperatures and can get burned.

“Your pet’s paws don’t have any insulation from the hot ground, and there are no actual studies as to exactly what the right temperature is,” said Dr. Cassandra Sheehan at Bristol County Veterinary Hospital.

Sheehan advised easing your pets into the heat and allowing them to gradually get acclimated to it.

“However, every pet is different,” she added. “Some are going to be more sensitive than others and some are going to be a little more tolerant of the heat.”

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One of the most common health issues for pets during the summer is overheating, Sheehan said, noting that dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies like humans do.

Sheehan also said dogs with compromised respiratory tracts are at the highest risk of overheating because that’s what dogs use to cool down.

Additionally, heat stroke is very common with dogs left in hot vehicles, since the inside warms up much faster than the temperature outside.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car can top 100 degrees within 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked. After a half-hour, the temperature can get up to 120 degrees inside the car.

Here are a few more precautions to take when spending time with your pets outdoors:

Connect with 12 News Meteorologist Steven Matregrano on social media:

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