PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Being outside is part of every dog’s routine. Playing outside keeps them happy and healthy. But in this heat, discretion is needed on how much they can take.
“When we get to those midday afternoon hours when the sun is a lot higher and a lot hotter we know we won’t be taking them out because we can’t keep them safe. And it’s also not as comfortable for us,” said Sam Ellingson with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. “We want to remember that if we go outside and we think it’s hot, we don’t want to be outside. We have to remember that the dogs are going to feel the same way.”
The same things they do at the shelter can be done for pups at home — keep them in the grass, shade and walk on unpaved paths.
Dogs can get heat stroke in the same way humans do. Look for warning signs: excessive panting, lethargy and changes in behavior. Don’t rely on fans to keep your pets cool because they don’t sweat like people — and they don’t cool down like we do.
“Any older pets, medically fragile pets or pets who have sort of like a flat face. like little snouts like pugs. bulldogs. Persian cats, those animals are going to be predisposed to having a harder time in hot weather,” Ellingson said.
Leave your dog at home if you can and never leave them in a hot car. A car’s temperature can climb very quickly, putting your dog in real danger. If you see a dog suffering in a hot car, there are some protections in the state of Oregon for people who force their way in to rescue the dog.
Keep your dogs cool. Ellingson even suggested a little homemade doggie popsicle.
“We’ve got some kiddie pools here, we’ve got some hoses. I think we’ve all seen videos of dogs who try and bite the water as it comes out of the hose,” he said. “We have a few of those dogs here. We have dogs who want to lay in kiddie pools. We have dogs who just want to splash around.”