This weekend is going to be HOT. With “feels like” readings expected to be in the triple digits, many of us will be inside with the air conditioning on. We have had a taste of the high temperatures already this year, but this is a reminder to think about your pets, too.

Luckily for our cats and dogs, we can bring them inside with us. Even if your animals are primarily outdoor animals, while the scorching temperatures are here, you should consider bringing them inside. Be sure that they have plenty of water.

Although walking your dog is generally a habit of great pet owners, we are encouraging you to skip the walks if you cannot take them first thing in the morning. Pavement absorbs heat and can burn paw pads, so walking them on hot pavement may be doing more harm than good. Even in the evening the heat stays in the pavement, so it may feel okay temperature-wise, but touch the pavement to get an idea of how hot it still is.

There are pets that are too large to bring inside like horses, alpacas, and cows. So, how do you cool animals on a hot day? First, let them have access to fresh, cool water. This may mean dumping and refilling their tanks multiple times a day. It only takes a couple of hours for water tanks to heat up, and a warm animal needs cold water to help them cool down. Also, be sure that there is shade. Temperatures can be ten degrees cooler in the shade, so offering this is essential. A box fan mounted in a shelter can offer a breeze while getting them out of the sun. Consider placing a sprinkler in the pasture. If they want the cool water raining down on them, they will have the option.

During the excessive heat advisory, which runs from today at noon to Sunday at 8:00pm, be sure to keep a watchful eye on your animals to ensure that they are tolerating the heat and not suffering from heat stroke. If you think they may be struggling, you may need to take them to the vet. Many of our clients have pet insurance to help cover some visit costs.