MCACC Hopes You Keep Your Furry Friends Safe This Summer

They may be the “Dog Days of Summer” but not all of your four-legged friends want to soak up the sun. Triple digit temperatures mean it’s that time for Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) to remind pet owners to keep a close eye on pets during the extreme heat.  Did you know that some dogs can’t swim?  Did you realize that your dog’s paw pads can burn on hot pavement? Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

Keep pets indoors.
If it is too hot for you..think about how it must feel on our furry friends! On extremely hot days, MCACC urges pet owners to keep pets indoors.  If you absolutely cannot bring your animal inside, be sure they have access to shade throughout the day.  While a dog house may provide shade, it does not allow air to circulate and provides no relief from the heat.  Shady trees and covered patios provide the best relief from the glaring sun.  If you can, leave a mister on for your pets.  A children’s pool filled with ice or a low amount of water can provide them relief and something to play in.
Provide plenty of fresh, clean water.  Just like us, pets can get dehydrated.  Provide plenty of water in a spill proof, non-metal bowl out of direct sunlight.  Be sure to change the water daily and remember many pets won’t drink if the water is too hot.  Ice cubes in the bowl that will melt slowly can also provide comfort and relief when the temperatures get too high.

Limit exercise on hot days.
While your dog’s paw pads may be tough, they are still sensitive and can be burned when walking on hot pavement.  Limit your dog’s exercise on hot days and walk them during the early morning or late evening hours.  If it’s too hot for your bare feet, chances are, it is too hot for your dog’s paws!  Also, if you have a pet with light-colored fur PLEASE put sunscreen on them.  Dogs are susceptible to skin cancer.  Many dogs lay on their back and expose their skin to those cancerous rays of sunlight.  The same sunscreen you wear works just as well on them.

Don’t leave pets in parked cars.
The temperature inside a car can soar within minutes.  On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes.  Keep pets at home while you run errands.

Recognize the signs of heat stress.
Dogs and cats pant to regulate their body temperature but this method can be easily overwhelmed during extreme heat.  As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure we know the signs of heat stress and how to deal with it should a situation arise.  Lethargy, extreme panting, excessive salivation, weakness and collapse are just a few of the signs of heat related illness in pets.  If your animal exhibits any of these symptoms, apply cool (not cold) compresses and get your pet to the veterinarian immediately.  Heat stress is a very serious condition that could result in death.

For more information about Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, visit