Dog days of summer in Alabama—pet safety + dangers

Sarah'S Dog Ruthie
It’s hot outside. Here’s how to keep your pets safe. (Sarah Gronberg / The Bama Buzz)

This year, Alabama was ranked the 5th best place for pets in the U.S., according to Pettable. This 100+ degree Alabama heat certainly is not pet-friendly, though. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your pets safe from the dangers of the dog days of summer.

Alabama summers can be dangerous for pets

Sarah'S Dog Ruthie
(Sarah Gronberg / The Bama Buzz)

The excessive heat we’re experiencing in Alabama (with some days reaching over the triple digits) is cause for concern for pet owners.

After 3 dogs were found dead in a Birmingham SUV, pet safety is top-of-mind for Alabamians.

PETA keeps track of reported companion animal deaths due to heat-related causes, and the 2023 tally is much higher than previous years. According to PETA’s website, the current number of heat-related deaths is at 128—a staggering number compared to previous years (57 in 2022, 60 in 2021, 32 in 2020, 53 in 2019 and 60 in 2018).

Many of the 128 deaths reported were from people leaving their dogs in the car. Others were simply left out in the heat for too long.

What you can do to protect your pup in Alabama heat

Sarah'S Dog Ruthie
(Sarah Gronberg / The Bama Buzz)

ASPCA gives several tips for keeping your furry friend safe during this last stretch of summer heat:

  • Make sure your pets have plenty of clean, cool water to drink. Leaving water out for local wildlife is also a good idea, as animals like birds can need water, too.
  • Be able to recognize the symptoms of overheating, which include excessive panting, drooling, weakness and stupor.
  • Never leave your pet in a car. It takes just 10 minutes for a car’s interior to reach 102 degrees when it’s 85 degrees outside. After 30 minutes, it can reach 120 degrees.
  • Don’t shave your dog, as their coat can help them stay cool.
  • Keep walks on asphalt brief.
  • Watch what your pet consumes (alcohol and poisonous foods) at summer shindigs.

Some common fixes to heat-related problems actually aren’t fixes. Cracking a window a couple of inches does not guarantee that the car won’t overheat, and shade is unreliable for keeping pets cool, as it moves.

GOOD TO KNOW: Our friends in Huntsville, Hville Blast, reported on what the local humane society has to say about the importance of keeping your pets safe in the heat.

Local humane societies and shelters in Alabama are working hard to help pets stay safe. Visit them to find out how you can help their mission, volunteer and donate:

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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