MDARD releases pet safety tips amid string of hot weather

Cute dog eating drinking water
Posted at 8:40 PM, Jun 17, 2024

LANSING, Mich. (WXMI) — The state is reminding Michiganders to keep their pets cool as temperatures break 90 degrees for most of this week.

"When temperatures rise, keeping animals cool and hydrated is essential to their overall health," state veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland said. "While it is important to recognize the signs of heat stress in animals, it is even more critical to prevent this stress from occurring. Michiganders can follow six easy steps to help keep animals cool and safe."

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development urges pet owners to take the following actions ensuring their pets stay safe from the heat:

  • Give them plenty of cool, clean water. Bring water if you plan on going into public, and avoid communal water bowls.
  • Know their heat limits. Their tolerance varies across age, breed and coat type. Medical history may also play a role in what they can stand. Take them someplace cool if they begin to pant more, drool or appear lethargic.
  • Touch paved surfaces with the palm of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet to walk on. Take walks through the grass or during the evening instead.
  • Keep them out of waterbodies with scum or discolored water, as they may contain harmful algal blooms (HABs). Wash pets if they come into contact with HABs, and report any resulting illnesses to MDARD online or by calling 800-292-3939.
  • DO NOT leave pets inside parked vehicles, even during moderate temperatures. Parking in the shade and cracking open a window are ineffective at keeping them cool.
  • Give them access to places where they can stay cool, such as shade, pools, fans, misters or air conditioning.

Speak with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s well-being.