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Keep Your Pet Safe in the Florida Heat

Millions of people flock to Florida each year to spend time in the summer sun and they often bring their pets with them. What you may not realize is that the very warmth you seek can make your pet ill or even kill them if you don’t take appropriate precautions.

A majority of the pets that people take with them are dogs, but cats, birds, fish, ferrets and even pet pigs can experience heat exhaustion and death if left in a car, truck or motorhome for even a short length of time on a mildly warm or humid day.

Animals don’t sweat – they can only pant to cool themselves off. Vehicle temperatures can elevate by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and increase exponentially. Leaving a window cracked doesn’t help and can actually exacerbate the situation. The following tips will help keep your pet safe in the Florida heat.

  • Never leave an animal in a parked car, even for 5 minutes
  • Don’t walk pets on paved surfaces or on hot beach sand – it burns their feet
  • Avoid walks and playtime during the warmest and most humid parts of the day
  • For pets with medical or breed-related conditions, be aware that even a short walk can endanger them
  • Always make sure your pet has a sufficient supply of fresh clean water, plenty of shade and a non-paved place to rest
  • Provide your pet with access to air conditioning – they need it even more than you do
  • A hair trim is fine to help your pet in the heat, but never shave them – they’ll sunburn
  • Regular grooming can help pets shed loose hair that can contribute to overheating
  • If you see a pet trapped in a vehicle on a hot day, notify authorities and stay there until help arrives

Humidity adversely affects pets as much as heat and Florida experiences its share of both. The danger increases when the two are combined. You and your pet can enjoy your sojourn in Florida by taking appropriate precautions to keep them safe and factoring in the weather conditions for the time of year you visit.

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