Tips to Beat the Heat and Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer

You’ll see plenty of hot dogs on the grill this time of year, but you don’t want a hot canine or cat. As summer comes into full swing, rising temperatures pose a serious risk to pets. Heat makes it easier for your pet to become injured, ill, or worse.

As you’re planning your summer fun, keep in mind that your pets don’t experience the heat the same way we do. Here are our top hot tips to keep your pet safe all summer long.

Keep Their Core Temperature Down

Heatstroke is a serious concern during the summer. Owners may accidentally put their pets in danger, believing that dogs and cats are built to tolerate outdoor heat. This is simply not the case for many breeds, and a shift in only two degrees can send a dog to the ER.

Also known as heat stress, heatstroke occurs when a pet’s temperature gets too high, and their body can’t bring it back down on its own. This can result in issues with their nervous system, cause seizures, and potentially put them in a coma.

To prevent your dog or cat from suffering heat stroke:

  • Always provide access to ample cool, clean water
  • Don’t leave your dog or cat outside during the middle of the day
  • Alter your walk schedule to mornings and evenings to avoid the midday sun
  • Provide your pet with a shady place to escape the heat 
  • Don’t leave your dog unattended in the car

If you think your pet’s suffering from heatstroke, cool them off with a damp towel or in a lukewarm shower, as cold water can send your pet into shock. Provide them with plenty of cool water and seek medical help immediately.

The Floor is Made of Lava--Or It At Least Feels Like It

Our pets’ paws are vulnerable. They don’t wear shoes, and their paw pads are a vital component for regulating their body temperature. Walking on a hot sidewalk or road can feel like torture to a dog or cat. And if their pads get burned, you can bet the pain is multiplied.

Check your dog’s or cat’s paws every few days for cracks or blisters. If you see any visible signs of damage, take it easy while they heal and limit outdoor activity.

To avoid burnt paws

  • Try to walk your dog on the grass and in the shade
  • Test the surface with your hand. If it’s too hot to hold your hand there for five to ten seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. 
  • Watch for signs of discomfort. If your dog keeps switching paws as you stand, it’s too hot.

We’re always happy to look at your pet’s paws if you think they’re hurting from the heat. If you suspect your dog or cat scorched their feet, immediately bring them home and soak their paws in water, then give us a call.

Give Your Pet Plenty of Opportunities to Cool Off

Whether you’re on a walk or just enjoying some sunshine in the backyard, take breaks in the shade and offer them a drink. Even if it’s just a quick stroll, bring water and a travel bowl and let your dog set the pace. One of the best things about summer is the heat gives you an excuse not to rush.

If you’re looking for fun summer activities, try making fun, frozen recipes for your furry friend. Frozen fish pops may not sound tasty to you, but we bet your cat would love them. Cold treats like these help your pet cool off from the inside out.

Some pets may not let you know that they need to cool off. Bring your dog or cat into the house to enjoy a bit of air conditioning if you notice yourself sweating. If you’re hot, your pet probably is too.

Even if they’re shorthaired, brush your cat or dog regularly to remove excess fur that may keep them overly insulated. Some breeds depend on their coat to keep them cool, so check with your veterinarian first before bringing them to the groomer for a shave.

Don’t Risk Your Pet’s Life and Health

We hope these tips help keep your summer filled with fun and joy. Treat your pet to good health during these hot months by protecting them from heatstroke and scalding sidewalks. We may love hot dogs, but keep your pets cool.

Photo Credit: danaibe12 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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