Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – We are close to entering the dog days of summer throughout the Mountain State and that means sweltering temperatures and muggy air will be impacting our furry friends.

However, it’s more difficult for animals to cool down, especially compared to humans.

Comparison of car’s interior temperature over time on a hot day at different outdoor temperatures.

“The way they regulate their body temperature is through panting. When it is hot, they only have one source to get rid of all of that extra heat.”

Comparison of car temperature with the window closed vs. window being cracked open.

Dr. Amanda Hartman, the owner of White Hall Animal Clinic in Marion County stated that when there is hot and muggy weather, moisture could get in animals’ lungs and makes it harder for cats and dogs to cool themselves down and breathe.

This is why veterinarians emphasize that it is never a good idea to leave animals in a hot vehicle for even just a minute.


“Even if the windows are cracked, leaving a cat or dog in the car when it gets really hot – the animals can’t regulate their body temperature. They can’t sweat to decrease their body temperature,” explained Hartman.

When windows are cracked open a little bit, rising temperatures will be slower than when the windows are closed, but within one hour, the temperature will be the same on a hot and humid day.

She stated that the best way to keep your pets cool in the outdoors is to always have cool water available and ready for them when needed. She also explained that owners should to try to be underneath a shelter like a tree or shaded area if you can’t go indoors.

Hartman also stated that, “Ideally in these hot temperatures over 90 degrees, your pets should be inside hopefully with air conditioning or a fan.”

And if they have to go outside, feel the pavement for five to seven seconds with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them so stick to the grass.

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