Keep Your Pet Safe in Summer Heat: Warning Signs and Health Tips

Gorgeous large white dog in a park

June, July and August might mean more fun in the sun for you, but it could also mean a few health hazards for your pet. Due to high summer temperatures, many cats and dogs are in danger of overheating during the hotter months. But don’t fear – PetMio is here to help you figure out how to keep your pet safe in summer heat. 

Watch for Warning Signs

Just like humans, pets can become overheated. When this happens, they will pant a lot in an attempt to cool down. If this doesn’t work, they could get heat stroke, have diarrhea or begin vomiting. In some cases overheating may even lead to death.

“All of these symptoms are a result of the excessive heat on their brain and internal organs,” says Veterinarian Nobuki Stobaeus. “If your pet starts salivating excessively, vomiting, acting abnormally, taking a long time to recover when running around, or panting excessively for a prolonged period of time, then there is a high chance your pet has overheated.”

According to the ASPCA, other signs that your pet might be overheating include seizures and an increased heart rate. Overweight or elderly pets, pets with thick or dark-colored coats, and dogs with short muzzles are more likely to be affected by high temperatures.

Never leave your pet alone in the car. Temperatures can become as much as 20 degrees hotter within 15 minutes. Plus, leaving your pet alone in a vehicle is illegal in many states.

Keeping Cool

If you’re worried that your pet is in danger of overheating, there are ways to help pets keep their cool. Dr. Stobaeus recommends allowing your pet to rest in a colder, shady spot and giving them some water. However, avoid giving your pet too much water all at once, because it might make him or her throw up. So when letting your pets play outside, make sure you have ample shade and enough water nearby.

If your furry friend hasn’t cooled down in 5-10 minutes, it might be time for a call to the vet.

Beware Burns

Those ultraviolet rays don’t just turn humans red. They can also affect your pet. Make sure not to leave your pet out in the sun for long periods of time. If it’s unavoidable, buy a pet-safe sunscreen and apply to any hairless areas like the nose and ears. White dogs with pink skin are especially sensitive to sunburn.

Also, be careful when walking your pet across hot sand or pavement.

“[Humans] have shoes on, but our pets do not, so their paws can be easily burned,” Dr. Stobaeus explained. “A rule of thumb I use is: If it’s too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for theirs.”

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

For many, summer means vacation, which means more time with your pet. Hopefully, PetMio’s advice will help keep your pet safe in summer and help both of you relax. Play it cool, and enjoy spending the dog days (or cat days) with your furry friends.