Cool It! Pets and Hot Weather


Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn if overexposed to the heat.

Dogs, cats, and horses can suffer from the same problems that human’s do—overheating, dehydration and even sunburn—when the temperature rises. By taking these simple precautions from ASPCA experts (and my own info), you can keep your animal companions happy and healthy.

When the temperature is very high, don’t let your pet stand on hot asphalt. Their body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks to a minimum during these times.

I put a wet bandanna around my Golden’s neck when the temperature is high. She loves it and keeps her a little cooler. Outward Hound makes cooling bandannas for your pooch. It comes in small to large dog sizes.

Pets should not be left in a parked vehicle-overheating can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace. Parking in the shade offers little protection when left alone for a long period of time. This can be a DEADLY mistake in less than 6 minutes!

Cruel Summer Video by

Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Make sure your pet knows how to get out of the pool. (That may sound silly, but dogs have drowned swimming endlessly to get out). Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt their fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Dehydration and Overheating

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Lift up the skin on the back of neck, if it stays in place, your pet is dehydrated and needs veterinary attention immediately. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

Good grooming can help stop summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length—never down to the skin, which robs your pet of protection from the sun—helps prevents overheating. Cats and long-hair dog breeds should be brushed often.

Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets. These include excessive panting and drooling and mild, increased heart beat, weakness, along with an elevated body temperature.  They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.  10 Hot Products to Keep Your Pets Cool

Pet Sunscreen

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Epi-pet Sun Protector Sunscreen Spray is the only FDA compliant sunscreen on the market for dogs and horses. This sunscreen is not to be used on cats. For a comparison of sunscreen prices, reviews, and uses visit NexTag.

High-Rise Syndrome-Danger to Cats

Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, who fall out of them so often that the veterinary profession has a name for the complaint—High-Rise Syndrome. It is a misconception that cats won’t be injured if they fall from one- or two-story buildings. They may actually be at greater risk for injury when falling shorter distances than by falling from mid-range or higher altitudes.

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One thought on “Cool It! Pets and Hot Weather

  1. Pingback: Cool Pet Pad « Touch of Home Pet Care

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