The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and
people. Follow these tips to keep your pets safe.
Never leave your pets
in a parked car
Not even for a minute.
Not even with the car running and
air conditioner on. On a warm day,
temperatures inside a vehicle can
rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On
an 85-degree day the temperature
inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within
10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the
temperature will reach 120 degrees.
Your pet may suffer irreversible
organ damage or die.
Limit exercise on hot
Take care when exercising your pet. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning
or evening hours, and be especially
careful with pets with white-colored
ears, who are more susceptible to skin
cancer, and short-nosed pets, who
typically have difficulty breathing.
Asphalt gets very hot and can burn
your pet’s paws, so walk your dog
on the grass if possible. Always carry
water with you to keep your dog from
Provide ample shade and water
Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat & sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.
Cool your pet
Keep your pet from overheating
indoors or out with a cooling
body wrap, vest, or mat or collar. Put out
a wading pool for your pet.
Watch for signs of
Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature does, treat for heat stroke. Some signs of heatstroke are 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.
Animals are at particular risk for heat
stroke if they are very old, very
young, overweight, not conditioned
to prolonged exercise, or have heart
or respiratory disease. Some breeds
of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus,
and other dogs and cats with short
muzzles—will have a much harder
time breathing in extreme heat.
How to treat a pet
Move your pet into the
shade or an air-conditioned area.
Apply ice packs or cold towels to
her head, neck, and chest or run cool
(not cold) water over her. Let her
drink small amounts of cool water or
lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a