The heat is on - time for pet parents to practice summer safety. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and comfortable all summer long.

Never leave your pet in a parked car

  • Not even for a minute!
  • On a fairly “cool” 78 degree day, cars can reach 100 to 120 degrees in just about 10 minutes! Pets left in cars, even briefly, can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Watch the humidity

  • It’s not just temperature that presents high risk; humidity can also affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture fro their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. High humidity makes breathing difficult. Thus, they have difficulty cooling themselves and their temperature can skyrocket.

Exercise your pet with caution

  • Yes, exercising your pet is essential for their happiness and well being, but on a hot summer days the risk of heat stroke greatly increases. 
  • On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or even hours.
  • Remember asphalt gets very hot and can burn and peel your pet’s paws. Check the temperatures with your hand. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws!
  • Seek shade and take frequent breaks during exercise.
  • Provide fresh water during breaks.

Protect your pet from sunburn

  • Particularly watch out for lightly colored, shorthaired pets. Their skin is less protected with lighter pigment and/or shorter locks.
  • Limit your pet’s sun exposure during the day.
  • Use sunscreen labeled specially for animal use.
  • Use sunscreen on your furry pet’s nose and tips 30 minutes before sun exposure.

Keep swimming safe

  • Never let your pet swim unsupervised.
  • Limit the amount of time in the water, especially if the water is deep.
  • Hose them down after time in a lake, pool or ocean to remove dirt, chemicals or saltwater from their coat.

Remember the warning signs of a heat stroke

  • Signs include: restlessness, thick saliva, heavy panting, rapid heartbeat, lack of coordination, lethargy, vomiting and a lack of appetite.
  • If your pet is experiencing symptoms of a heat stroke, move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest or run cool water over them. Provide small amounts of cold water to drink.

Hot summer days are upon us. Remember these tips to keep your furry friend safe!