It’s Getting Hot Outside – Tips To Keep Your Pet’s Cool this Summer

Summer is a great time to get outside with your family and pets. But when is it too hot to bring your pets outside or go on walks? Below is a heat stroke risk assessment chart based on outdoor temperatures.  Learn the signs for possible heat stroke and how to treat until you can get your pet to your veterinarian.

Heat stroke signs:  Signs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, bright red gums and tongue, trouble standing, unconsciousness, and seizures. What to do of you suspect that your dog has heat stroke:  Immediately bring dog inside and run a cool bath or shower over his head and neck.  If you are unable to do so then place a cold towel over his head, neck, or groin area.  An outdoor hose will also work. Make sure that you let any hot water out before using on your dog.  Offer your dog cold water with ice.  Follow up with your veterinarian since heat stroke in dogs can cause unforeseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, intestinal bleeding, and abnormal clotting of blood.

How to avoid heat stroke and keep your dogs safe during extreme weather.

  1. During extreme weather conditions, do no leave your pet outside for extended periods of time.  5 to 10 minutes max.
  2. Have a shaded area for your pet.
  3. Provide fresh cold water outdoors.
  4. Do not walk your dog during the hottest period of the day, this is generally from 12-3:30 pm.
  5. Remember that asphalt gets very hot and can injure your pet’s paws.  Again, avoid walking your dog during extreme summer weather.
  6. Don’t force your dog to exercise when its extremely hot outside!
  7. If your pet stays home all day, remember to never set your air conditioning over 80F.
  8. If you do not have air conditioning, provide a fan where you create air flow throughout the room or near the pet’s crate.
  9. If your dog has longer hair, think about getting a new shorter style for summer!
  10. NEVER LEAVE A DOG IN A PARKED CAR DURING EXTREME WEATHER! After an hour, the average in-car temperature is 43 degrees higher than the outdoor temperature. After 90 minutes, this rises to 48 degrees higher. So, when it’s 90 degrees outside, it could reach an incredible 138 degrees in your parked car. That’s hotter than any outdoor temperature ever recorded on earth! 
  11. If you are traveling with your dog, bring a water bowl and take your pet with you when you exit the car.  Some vehicles do have AC features for pets that do allow you to leave your pet in the car for short periods, though veterinarians do not advise that you use this feature because the AC could break or the dog can accidentally turn it off. For this reason it is better to be safe than sorry and not leave your pets alone in your vehicle.

Summer months can be enjoyable for all!  Just like we wear shorts and cooler clothing, remember to help keep your pets cool!  They can’t remove their fur coat during summer months. Have a safe and fun summer.