LMAS Offers Pet Safety Tips for Extreme Heat

July 19, 2019

What to do to keep animals cool and safe when temperatures soar


Louisville Metro Animal Services asks pets owners to take precautions in preparation for the extreme heat forecast for this weekend. Exposure to hot temperatures can cause heatstroke in pets, and even death.  Pet owners can follow these tips to keep their four-legged companions safe in hot weather:

Stay Inside and Limit outdoor time  It’s best to keep pets inside with the air conditioner set to a comfortable temperature. Outdoor time should be limited to prevent heat-related injuries.

Shade and water If a pet must be kept outdoors, make sure they access to fresh, cool water and a shady area away from the sun. Dog houses are not always adequate because they can block air flow. Hanging a tarp between two trees is a better option because it does not block air flow. A haircut can also help your pet cool off in excessive heat. Some dogs have an undercoat which keeps them cool, so check with your Veterinarian or groomer first.

Do not leave pets alone in a parked vehicle The temperature inside the vehicle can reach triple digits in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are left cracked and could result in heatstroke or death. Do not leave a pet in a vehicle parked in the shade because shade moves with the sun. Call 911 immediately to report a pet left alone in a hot vehicle.

Avoid walking dogs in hot weather Do not walk your dog during the hottest part of the day. Take shorter walks in the mornings or evenings to prevent a pet from overheating. Try to avoid pavement, asphalt and sidewalks which could burn your dog’s paws. If you place your hand on the sidewalk for 15 seconds and it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your pet.

Know the signs of Heatstroke Heatstroke can be fatal so it’s important to know the symptoms in pets. Signs include heavy panting or difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, drooling, vomiting, excessive thirst and seizures. Get to a veterinarian immediately if a pet displays these symptoms. Visit the ASPCA's website for more hot weather safety tips for pets.

To report an animal within Jefferson County with no protection from the heat or access to fresh water, contact LMAS animal control at 473-PETS.  

Contact 911 immediately to report an animal left alone inside a vehicle.