Easy Ways to Help Your Pet Beat the Heat

Posted by Dr. Lisa Killian, DVM on

Easy Ways to Help Your Pet Beat the Heat

It’s summertime, and the weather is hot! As the country gradually emerges from quarantine, you (and your pet!) may be itching for some fun in the sun. Here are a few simple ways to keep your pet safe in the process.

Don’t leave them in the car!

You’ve likely already heard horror stories - just don’t do it. All it takes is fifteen minutes for your pet to die of heatstroke.

Be cautious of heatstroke

Did you know dogs don’t sweat? Because of this, their primary mechanism of cooling themselves down is panting, which escalates the warmer they become. If your dog is heavily panting or having difficulty getting up or moving around, they may be experiencing heatstroke. In some cases, vomiting or drooling may also occur.

Heatstroke, like in humans, is a medical emergency, and the first step for treatment is to help your pet regulate their body temperature. Hose them down with cool water, or soak a towel in cold water and drape it over your pet, and let them drink as much water as they need. Call your vet immediately and let them know you’re on the way - Heatstroke is life threatening, and every minute counts.

Protect the paws

If it’s too hot for you to walk on the sidewalk barefoot, it’s too hot for your pet, too. While the pads on dogs’ paws are actually meant to keep them cool, they can sustain burns, just like human feet! Try hosing down the sidewalk or keeping a kiddie pool nearby to protect those paws and keep them cool. If you notice your dog limping, whelping, or holding up its foot, be sure to check for a burn.

Burns should always be seen by a vet - they’re painful, and we don’t want our pets to suffer. If you think your pet's paws are burned, use a cool water soak and call the vet. Let them know you are on the way so they can be prepared to treat your pet as soon as you arrive.

This summer, keep the whole family safe.