Keep your pet safe as temperatures climb in Birmingham

Sam is enjoying the summer (from his shady porch.) (Callie Puryear / Bham Now)

We all know how HOT it gets in Birmingham, and temps are nearing the 100s this week. We may be feeling a little miserable ourselves, but don’t forget about your four-legged friends. High temperatures can lead to dangerous situations for our pets, so it’s very important to pay close attention to your furry friends and help keep them cool right now. Here are five tips to help.

1. Never leave your pets in the car

The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) reported Wednesday, August 24, the death of one puppy and two adult dogs found locked inside a hot car at a CITGO gas station on Bush Boulevard. Birmingham Police responded and requested assistance from GBHS Animal Control, but were unable to revive the animals. Follow the continuing story here.

In a social media post by the GBHS, CEO Allison Black Cornelius expressed how important it is not to leave your pets in the car for even a few minutes in this heat.

“This is record heat. This is not the time to be taking your pets anywhere with you. If you live out of your car or you’ve been evicted or you’re having some kind of problem, please reach out to the GBHS outreach department, let us see if we can get you some help.

Please don’t leave your dogs or cats or any kind of pet in your car in this kind of heat. It only takes a few minutes, and they will suffer from heat stroke and it’s a horrific, suffering death.”

Allison Black Cornelius, CEO, GBHS

2. Provide shade and water

Make sure your pets have ample access to water. (Carolien van Oijen / Unsplash)

You know what they say… hydration is key. The same goes for our cats and dogs. Always ensure that your pets have access to water both indoors and outdoors. Pro tip: ice water outside makes for an extra happy pup.

Anytime your pet is outside, be sure to provide protection from the heat and sun. According to The Humane Society,

“Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.”

3. Watch out for their paws

file 7 Keep your pet safe as temperatures climb in Birmingham
Sam is not a huge fan of his summer booties. (Callie Puryear / Bham Now)

Hot asphalt can be harmful and painful for pets. When you do go on a walk, try to keep your pet on grass when you can and avoid dark pavement. If you’re feeling extra like me, dog booties can help prevent hurt paw pads, and they look adorable too.

PS: If it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws!

4. Stay indoors during the hottest hours

file1 edited 1 scaled Keep your pet safe as temperatures climb in Birmingham
Me? Stay inside? (Lauryn Stinson / Bham Now)

The safest way to get you and your pet’s exercise in during the summer is to try and limit your walks to early morning or evening hours. These are the months to let your pet be as lazy as they want, all day long. Can we trade spots?

An important tip from The Greater Birmingham Humane Society:

“NEVER leave your pet in an unattended vehicle. Temperatures can soar to over 100 degrees within minutes, leaving animals inside stranded and facing life-threatening danger. If you see a pet in a hot car, call 911 immediately and try to locate the owners.”

5. Cool off!

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One happy pup. (Jessica Broom / Bham Now)

When your pet does spend time outdoors, make sure they’re able to cool off afterwards. Here are some fun ways to do so:

  • kiddie pools
  • sprinklers
  • damp towels
  • ice cubes
  • homemade pupsicles

Feeling stir crazy trying to stay indoors? Try these five dog-friendly places to cool off with your pup in The Magic City.

6. Always keep an eye out + stay prepared

Those eyes! (Madison Croxson / Bham Now)

During these scorching hot months, stay alert and keep an eye out for signs of your pet overheating. According to our friends at Alabama Spay & Neuter, signs include:

  • excessive panting
  • lethargy
  • drooling
  • vomiting

PLUS—believe it or not, pets can use sunscreen too. When you’re outside, apply pet-safe sunscreen and try and keep pets in the shade as much as possible.

Adorable + adoptable

Are all of these pet pics giving you puppy fever? Here are a few local places with pets looking for a family to join:

Remember to keep your pet’s safety top of mind, especially during the summer. What other tips do you have? Let us know @bhamnow!

Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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