Dog Days of Summer: Pet Safety in a Changing Climate

As we head into warmer seasons with more time to get outside and soak up the sun, you’ll want to remember to check in on your furry friend. With sultry days ahead, imagine if you had an extra layer of fur all summer long! This is the daily experience of our pets, and they may face even hotter days in the future.

It doesn’t take much for the heat outside to become dangerous for pets and for you. Even spring days can easily hit the 70s and that can send pavement temperatures into the triple digits. When the air temperature reaches 77 degrees, the asphalt rises to nearly 125 degrees, which can burn human skin and unprotected animal paws. During the summer, when the days regularly exceed the mid-80s, the pavement gets scorching hot.

More of those sweltering days are also in store for the future. Over the past half-century in Columbia, MO, the number of days above that 77-degree mark has increased by more than two weeks. That means taking care of your furry friends is more important than ever.

There are simple ways to help your pets as the seasons heat up. Always have plenty of water on hand and try to take a walk early or late in the day. If you’re outside in the heat, find a nice shaded area for your pet to take breaks. Slipping a few ice cubes into their water is also a great way to help cool them down! It’s important to never leave a pet in a car, as cabin temperatures can reach triple digits in 10 minutes if the highs are only in the 80s. Remembering these tips will help you and your four-legged friends, to have a good time in the sun in complete safety.