Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

Summer offers a plethora of opportunities to have fun with our furry friends. With longer days come walks through the neighborhood, trips to the dog park, and more time soaking up the sunshine in your own backyard.

But it’s also important for you, as a pet owner, to keep your pet cool as the temperature outside rises. Remember, spending time in the sun is a different experience for humans than it is for animals. Unlike your dog or cat, you’re able to sweat—and you’re not wearing a permanent fur coat.

Symptoms of Overheating

Overheating: Causes, Signs, and How to Avoid It

You likely already know you should never leave a pet alone in a parked car, even with the windows cracked: The temperature inside can rise more than 20 degrees in a matter of minutes, and that can be deadly. But did you realize that animals can also overheat and suffer heat stroke in other situations, such as being outside in the sun (especially if they’ve been running around) or even in an enclosed area such as a garage, shed, or doghouse?

The best way to prevent overheating and heat stroke is to avoid overly hot situations. Keep pets indoors during the heat of the day when possible, and make sure your air conditioning works properly so your pet stays cool and comfy. Even if you can handle a warmer house, consider your pets when you set your air conditioning.

Avoid strenuous activity outside or long periods of sun exposure, and make sure your pets always have access to cool, clean water. They may go through much more of it on hot days than they would otherwise.

If you believe your pet is overheating, stabilize him by covering him with cool (not ice cold) water. Once he seems to be stable, visit your veterinarian right away, or call the nearest emergency veterinary clinic for instructions.

Animals at Increased Risk for Overheating

Other Sunny Day Dangers

You likely already know you should never leave a pet alone in a parked car, even with the windows cracked: The temperature inside can rise more than 20 degrees in a matter of minutes, and that can be deadly. But did you realize that animals can also overheat and suffer heat stroke in other situations, such as being outside in the sun (especially if they’ve been running around) or even in an enclosed area such as a garage, shed, or doghouse?

The best way to prevent overheating and heat stroke is to avoid overly hot situations. Keep pets indoors during the heat of the day when possible, and make sure your air conditioning works properly so your pet stays cool and comfy. Even if you can handle a warmer house, consider your pets when you set your air conditioning.

Avoid strenuous activity outside or long periods of sun exposure, and make sure your pets always have access to cool, clean water. They may go through much more of it on hot days than they would otherwise.

Additional Tips for Keeping Cats and Dogs Cool

Don’t let your pet’s summer be a bummer. With a little planning, a few cool tools, and a willingness to do what’s best for your dog or cat, you can have plenty of fun in and out of the sun while keeping everyone safe and sound.