With a historically cold winter in our rear-view mirrors, the time has finally come to enjoy some warmer weather! As many of us prep for walks in the park, trips to our favorite farmers’ market or relaxing in our own backyards, it’s important to take a second and think about how the heat impacts our beloved pets. While you might know the rules for staying cool, our pets rely on us to help them stay safe in the heat of the summer.

Keep these five tips in mind the next time you see the thermometer start to rise, so both you and your pet can rest easy that this summer will be a fun one.


1. What does an overheated pet look like?

There are some easy-to-spot signs that can help you tell if your pet is overheated —

  • Panting heavily
  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weakness or inability to stand
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If your pet has been out in the heat of the day and they start exhibiting any of these symptoms, there is a chance they are overheated and need attention immediately. Take a moment to get them to a cool area and give them some water. If their symptoms do not go away or get worse, call your local vet right away.


2. Water, water and more water

This one can be a game changer when it comes to your pet’s safety, and is even more important if your pet has spent any significant time outside. No matter what kind of pet you have, they always can benefit from staying hydrated on a hot or humid day. Our pets can dehydrate quickly, so be sure they always have access to fresh water.


3. Never leave your pet in a hot car

Did you know temperatures in a parked car on a hot day can soar in just a matter of minutes? Not even parking in the shade or cracking the windows can stop the drastic temperature increase, so it’s best to always play it safe and never leave your pet in hot car.

 Outside Air Temperature (F)
 Car Internal Air Temperature (F)
 10 minutes
20 minutes 30 minutes  60 minutes
 70  89  99  104  113
 75  94  104  109  118
 80  99  109  114  123
 85  104  114  119  128
 90  109  119  124 133



4. Shaving your pet is never the answer

There’s a reason our pets don’t lose all their fur each summer — they need that layer for protection. Going down to the groomer and getting a trim is a great idea when the temperature starts to rise, but shaving your pet can leave them more vulnerable to overheating and can cause sunburns. Their coats naturally keep them cool and ensure their sensitive skin doesn’t get exposed to harmful UV rays.


5. Tell those bugs to buzz off

You’re not the only one excited for the arrival of summer. As the temperature goes up, so do the number of bugs your pet could be exposed to. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can carry parasites and diseases that could be life-threatening. Take your pet to the vet and make sure they’re up-to-date on all their medications.


Keep these tips in mind the next time a hot day comes rolling through. Your pet will appreciate you more than ever!

American Veterinary Medical Association, “Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time,” (accessed July 2, 2019), available at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, “Hot Weather Safety Tips”, (accessed July 2, 2019), available at  https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Estimated-Vehicle-Interior-Air-Temperature-v.-Elapsed-Time.aspx

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