Caring for Pets in a SanDiego Heat Wave

ABC 10 News reports San Diego inland counties may experience heat in the triple digits and gives tips on how to stay cool. But they don’t discuss pet health and offer tips on how to keep your pets cool and hydrated.
Many homes here in San Diego don’t have air conditioning, or choose not to use it because of the high energy costs. And many people turn off the a/c as they leave for work during the day, if you have a pet this could mean death for the furkids. I’ve walked into some homes in the afternoon and it felt like an unbearable sauna. Reminds me of my Bikram Yoga days (google it if you don’t know what that is, it’s HOT!!) and the kiddos can’t handle it. If you have pets, leave the a/c on atleast 80degrees so they don’t overheat.  I suggest leaving fans on (ceiling fans, oscalating fans, towers, etc) Just be sure to keep cords organized and the fans in a safe area so it doesn’t get knocked over or cause a safety hazard for your furbabies. I would love to say leave a few windows open, but for crime prevention I like to have all the windows locked, unless there’s a 2nd story option but your house would need to offer a decent draft for it to make a difference. A great economical investment is the window or floor unit if you have the extra window/space for it.
Before you leave for work or weekend activities check the water bowls. ALWAYS check the water bowls before you leave. How many times have you been late and just ran out for the day, what if your beloved dog’s water bowl was empty and it ends up being 100 degrees in the house? You would come home to if not a very sick pup one that has passed. Make sure the fresh water bowl is in the morning routine with turning off the coffee pot, or the kitchen light. Yes, fresh water. Empty out the old and rinse it out good then refill =)  During heatwaves, throw in a few ice cubes to help cool off the water. And I always suggest making sure your daily dog walker has a frozen kong available in the freezer to give after they leave (double :))

You can always schedule your pet sitter or dog walker for an hour visit instead of a 30 minute dog walk to allow clean up after a dip in the pool!

If you are home during the heat wave with no a/c then by all means, get to the beach! Or some body of water that the pups can swim in!

JenLovesPets has a few policies for heat waves. Anything 90 degrees or over we carefully monitor the pets, sidewalk and black tops and cut daily or vacation walks short if the pets seem distressed. Taking note the color of the tongue, panting, fatigue (signs of heat exhaustion), checking the cement with our hands, etc.  If need be we cut walks short, not check ins, just the walks and spend the extra time playing inside. Unless you have scheduled your sitter for more time in the pool, then that is a given!  If it’s 90 degrees and bad air quality or 95 and above we cut the walks to potty breaks only and continue the check ins inside.

At JenLovesPets headquarters, we improvise. With no a/c we have fans in every room, some in windows, some oscolating, and have ceiling fans. We keep water bowls clean and full with ice cubes galore. We are lucky to have a back yard that has an amazing breeze and tons of shade. And there are times, that I have been known to pull out the water hose in the yard, or the baby pool…those are good times!!!




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