8 Hot Weather Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs

During the summer you’re probably preoccupied with planning your next vacation, grilling up some grub or buying concert tickets. However, it’s crucial that you keep your pets nice and cool. The summer months can bring dangerously hot temperatures and you need to take precautions so your pets don’t experience heat stroke or dehydration. Here are eight hot weather safety tips!

  1. Don’t hesitate to just leave your pets at home. It’s tempting to take them everywhere when the weather is nice, but sometimes it’s just too hot for pets. Dogs can’t keep themselves cool if the outdoor temperature is hotter than their body temperature.
  2. Don’t leave pets in the car! Studies have shown that cars can easily rise more than 20 degrees in temperature on even a mild day. The moral of the story? Again, you should probably just leave your pets at home if you can’t keep them with you at all times. Leaving them in the car just isn’t an option — even if you crack the windows!
  3. Keep your pets hydrated! Heavy breathing and sweating increase a need for access to water. Take a bowl with you everywhere you go. There are cool collapsible ones that are travel-friendly. And of course make sure to bring a water bottle with you to fill that bowl. Ice or an ice pack won’t hurt either. Plenty of dog-friendly restaurants will also offer pooches water. Note: A deep bowl will stay cooler longer than a shallow bowl!
  4. Protect sensitive paws. Hot pavement isn’t fun for humans and pets alike. Check the asphalt with your hand before you bring your pet outside. If it’s too hot, outfit your pooch or cat in some kind of protective booties or special wax to their paws.
  5. Ask your vet if you should shave your dog. Some breeds’ coats actually HELP them stay cooler, so giving them a haircut could be counterproductive.
  6. Apply sunscreen to any parts of your pet’s body that have thin fur or no fur. And make sure you use pet-friendly sunscreen. Some human sunscreen ingredients are toxic to animals!
  7. Your pet should always be on tick and flea preventative, but this is especially important during the summer months.
  8. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, call your vet or bring your pet to an emergency animal clinic immediately. While waiting for your pet to be seen, you can also place cool (not cold!) washcloths on their head, neck, belly and back legs. Heatstroke can quickly turn into cardiac arrest, coma or death so veterinary attention is imperative!