Heat wave with high humidity poses threats to pet health
With an oppressive heat wave poised to settle into the area over the next few days, a wide swath of Massachusetts will be under a heat advisory, while the City of Boston has issued a heat emergency, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is reminding pet owners to take measures to keep pets comfortable and safe during this time.
Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important basic guidelines:
- Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a cool humidity and temperature-regulated room.
- If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
- Hydration is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
- Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest. Aside from the heat, the high humidity can cause respiratory issues for animals, particularly short-snouted animals (i.e. pugs).
- Be mindful of surface temperatures. Asphalt, concrete, or brick surfaces absorb heat and surface temperatures can exceed 145 degrees can cause severe burns to your pet’s paws! Apply the 7-second rule – place the back of your hand on a surface and if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.
- When the temperatures rise, it’s Too Hot for Spot®! Never leave your pet alone in a parked car — even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked.
It is illegal in Massachusetts to keep an animal confined in a vehicle during extreme hot or cold conditions, and when a weather advisory is issued, it is also illegal to keep dogs tethered for longer than five hours in a 24-hour period.
Dogs also cannot be tethered outdoors between 10 PM and 6 AM, unless for not more than 15 minutes and when the owner/keeper is present.