How to Keep Pets Safe in Hot Weather

Monday, June 4th, 2018 in Tips

As the days get longer and the temperatures warm up, most of us spend a considerable amount of time outside. And, often, our pets are with us for all of the fun. In order to keep them safe this
summer, here are some things to consider:

  • Hydration: Just like us, our pets need to stay well-hydrated in the heat. Make sure your pet has unlimited access to fresh, clean water. Consider adding ice to keep it cold longer.
  • Shade: A cool place to get out of the sun is essential to keep your pet’s body from overheating. Either a shady tree or a tarp can provide a break from the sun and keep air flowing.
  • Exercise: When you take your pet out for some exercise, don’t overdo it. Just like you may not enjoy a long, difficult run when it’s 100 degrees out, your pet wouldn’t either. Also, keep in mind that pavement gets extremely hot on sensitive paw pads. A walk in the grass is a better choice on hot days. Or, even better, consider an early morning or evening walk.
  • Car Safety: Never leave your pet in the car on a hot day, period. There is no safe amount of time to do so and opening the window several inches is not enough to keep temperatures down.
  • Water Safety: Don’t leave your cat or dog unsupervised around the pool as many are not good swimmers. When they do swim, be sure to rinse them off afterward to remove chlorine or salt from their fur.
  • Grooming: If you decide to give your pet a haircut this season, please do not shave their fur entirely. An inch of fur helps protect them from overheating and sunburn.
  • Know the Signs: If your pet is showing any of the following symptoms, they may be developing heatstroke: excessive panting, glazed eyes, excessive thirst, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, weakness, lack of coordination, dark purple gums, bloody diarrhea, vomit, or even collapse. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, quickly place cold, wet towels or frozen compresses on their head, neck, and chest and get them to your veterinarian immediately.
  • Special Note: Some animals require extra care and attention in the heat of the summer. Be careful with short-muzzled dogs and cats (such as pugs and Persians) who can’t pant as effectively as other breeds. Animals with white fur may require sunscreen to keep from getting burned, especially on the ears.

We hope you and your pet enjoy an action-packed and safe summer!