Protect your pets from high temperatures

Dog sitting in front of an electric fan.

The next summer heat wave is coming to the Seattle area as temperatures are forecast to reach more than 90 degrees. Protect your pets from the effects of high heat.

The Seattle Animal Shelter provides the following tips to keep your pet safe when temperatures climb.

1) Never leave your animal unattended in direct sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat and remember shaded areas move with the sun. Provide access to cool water at all times.

2) Keep ventilation and water flowing. If you leave animals indoors, open secured screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and, if possible, leave them in a cool location.

3) Never leave animals unattended in a vehicle. Temperatures rise quickly leaving them trapped and unable to escape the heat. Under Washington state law an animal control officer or law enforcement officer has the authority to remove an animal from a vehicle by any means necessary if the animal is suffering or is likely to suffer from exposure to excessive heat and the owner may be charged with animal cruelty.

4) Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but extreme heat conditions, obesity, old age, breed and underlying disease can increase an animal’s risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hot pavement can quickly burn sensitive paws. If you can’t hold the bare palm of your hand on the pavement for more than 10 seconds, then your pet should not walk on it.

5) Keep bird cages away from direct sunlight. Take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

6) Water-heavy snacks are where it’s at. Smaller furry pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, can overheat easily. Snacks such as cucumber, melon or any watery vegetable can help keep them hydrated. Frozen water bottles can give them something cool to lie next to or near.