Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control Issues Pet Safety Tips for Summer Heat

June 15, 2018

Cook County Animal and Rabies Control urges pet owners to take special precautions to protect the health and welfare of their pets during the forecasted excessive heat.

Among the recommendations:

Do not leave your pet in a hot car: Even with the windows rolled down, studies have shown that the temperature inside the car can increase by 15 degrees above the outside temperature. The law requires that any time the ambient temperature is above 78 degrees, you cannot leave your dog in a car.

Keep your pets cool when outside: All dogs should be provided with cool water and shade, and monitored when outside. Short-coated animals and animals with white or tan fur are susceptible to sunburn, especially on their noses. 

Consider a haircut: If your dog has a thick coat, consider a haircut for summer. One inch is a good length to keep you dog more comfortable while avoiding sunburn.

Vaccinate your pets: Make sure that your dog is up-to-date on all shots, including canine influenza virus and rabies. Cook County Animal and Rabies Control is offering low-cost rabies vaccine clinics throughout the County. 

Take care of your dog’s paws: Remember that asphalt and sidewalks are hotter than grass, and dogs’ paw pads are highly sensitive to heat. Whenever possible, walk your dog on grass, dirt or gravel, and avoid asphalt and concrete during a heat wave.

Keep inside temperatures cool: Make sure your indoor pets have water and are comfortable when in the home. And don’t be alarmed if you see your cat sleeping somewhere odd, like the bathtub or the closet. Cats look for the coolest spot in the home.