Detroit residents love their pets, and with May being National Pet Month, it’s more important than ever to keep your pet cool and hydrated. Dogs can especially wear themselves out in the hot sun and many pets don’t fully realize the effect heat can have on their body before it is too late. Ryan McTigue is a public relations coordinator with the Michigan Humane Society and here are some suggestions from the MHS to help keep your pet safe this summer.
Ryan McTigue
Michigan Humane Society
30300 Telegraph Road #220
Bingham Farms, MI  48025
(248) 283-1000
www.michiganhumane.org

As a private, nonprofit organization, the Michigan Humane Society delivers care and service for countless animals and pets in the southeastern section of Michigan. It is the Mitten State’s biggest and longest-running animal welfare group and has three locations for animal support in Detroit, Westland, and Rochester Hills. The Michigan Humane Society relies completely on the donations and support of corporate and individual supporters to continue operating year-after-year and does not receive any funds from the government.

(The Michigan Humane Society suggests that pets should live indoors, where it is cooler. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)

(The Michigan Humane Society suggests that pets should live indoors, where it is cooler. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)


Pets Should Live Indoors For Safety

A well-ventilated home is the best place for a pet during the hot summer months. When it is warm out, heat-related illnesses can be a danger to pets. Keeping animals indoors will also reduce a pet’s exposure to harmful insects, such as ticks, mosquitos, and fleas, as well as internal parasites. Shade cannot be a guarantee of safety for pets outdoors for a long period of time. A home without air conditioning can be made safer with the use of fans to circulate air and basements can be the coolest place for a pet during the hottest hours of a summer day.

Cool Water Should Always Be Available

Pets, like humans, require easy access to lots of clean, fresh water. Keeping the water cool will help to ensure a pet stays cool, as well. In order to regulate an animal’s body temperature, hydration is necessary for both dogs and cats. Making sure your pet has free access to plenty of water will ensure that your pet is able to stay safe this summer.

Dogs Should Not Be Chained Or Tethered Outdoors

Dogs especially can become entangled when chained or tethered in a yard or seemingly-open area. Doing so may also prevent a dog from being able to access shade or reach their source of water, or the water dish could be spilled by a tether. Also, a part of the yard that may be in the shade in the morning hours might not be in the shade as the day goes on and the sun moves across the sky, which could present a timely issue of danger for your dog.

Related: Best Parks In Detroit

(The Michigan Humane Society suggests avoiding the heat of the day when walking and exercising your pets. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)

(The Michigan Humane Society suggests avoiding the heat of the day when walking and exercising your pets. Photo Credit: Michael Ferro)


Avoid Laborious Exercise With Your Pets During Hot Days

Like humans, pets can overheat and overwork themselves in the hot summer sun. While a walk with your pet might be a fun activity during nice weather, please do so with caution and try to only do so during the cooler hours of the day, such as the early morning or late evening. The walking surface itself, such as hot asphalt or concrete, can also be a danger as it can cause your pet’s delicate paw pads damage.

Specific Dogs Need Special Hot Weather Considerations

Many particular breeds of dogs, including short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs, can have difficulty breathing in hot weather. This can also cause the dog to be more prone to suffer from heatstroke. Some breeds of cats with long hair, like the Persian, also must be considered in hot weather as they can be susceptible to overheating, as well. Ask your veterinarian if your animal requires special attention in hot weather.

Related: Best Dog Runs In Detroit

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.