For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2019
David Perle 202-483-7382
Washington – With temperatures in the DMV area expected to feel like 110 degrees today and high temperatures forecast for the rest of the summer, please include the risks to animals—who can quickly succumb to heatstroke if left outdoors—in any coverage of the hot weather. Since last year, there have been at least 84 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:
- Walk—don’t run: In hot weather, never exercise dogs by biking and making them run alongside you or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
- Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day.
- Keep all animals indoors. Unlike humans, cats can’t sweat and dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
- Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help intervening in life-or-death situations.