8 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Summer Heat

Sunbathing beagle puppy portrait lying at the sea coastWith summer at its peak it’s a great time to think about ways to keep pets safe in the heat.  When temperatures skyrocket animals are in real danger of becoming overheated.  Organ damage, brain damage, and even death can result.  Here are some guidelines and suggestions we’ve gathered that will help you prevent the heat from getting to your furry friend.

1) Never ever leave your pet in a parked car

Temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees in just a few minutes.  For more information please see the Humane Society’s flyer on this important topic.

2) During extreme heat it’s best to bring pets indoors

Even if they are not house trained, bring them in for at least 30-45 minutes at a time to let their body core cool down…especially in the peak hours of the day.

3) Provide plenty of cool water and refresh it often throughout the day

An animal may refuse to drink water that has become too warm.  Adding ice cubes will help keep drinking water cool.

4) Provide adequate shade

A tree or a tarp will work best for shade and proper air flow.  Be sure that shade is available at all times of the day. A dog house is not a good option for shade since it lacks ventilation and will only exacerbate the heat.

5) Keep an eye on humidity levels as well as heat

In very high humidity it’s difficult for an animal to cool itself.

6) Consider a cooling, soapless bath for your dog

A quick spray with a garden hose or covering him with a very wet towel are fast ways to reduce body temperature. (If an animal is already overheated use only cool water, not cold.)  Another option is to leave a shallow kiddie pool out for your dog to cool off in.

7) Watch out for overexertion

Dogs still need daily exercise during summer but the cooler morning and evening hours are the best times for them to get it.

8) Be aware of the signs of heatstroke:

heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.  If you suspect heatstroke take immediate measures to cool your pet.  Move her to a cooler area, provide cool drinking water, and use ice packs, water soaked towels, or run cool (not cold) water over her body.  Get her to a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Just a bit of extra effort will keep your pet safe and happy this summer, so stay cool!

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