• Home
  • Hot Weather and Guidelines for Pet Owners

Hot Weather and Guidelines for Pet Owners


As temperatures rise, it’s essential for pet owners to be mindful of their furry friends’ well-being. Pets, like humans, can suffer from the effects of hot weather, and ensuring their safety and comfort is a priority. Here are some crucial guidelines to help your pets stay cool and healthy during the summer months.

Hydration is Key

Just as you need to stay hydrated, so do your pets. Always ensure that your pets have access to fresh, cool water. On extremely hot days, consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl to keep it cool for longer periods. For pets that spend time outdoors, ensure there are multiple water sources available to them.

Provide Shade and Shelter

If your pets are outdoors, they need a shaded area to retreat from the sun. This can be a shaded part of your yard, a kennel, or a pet house. Ensure the shelter is well-ventilated and ideally situated to catch any available breeze. Indoors, keep the environment cool with fans or air conditioning.

Avoid Overexertion

Exercise is important, but in hot weather, it’s crucial to modify your pets’ routines. Schedule walks and playtime during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Avoid strenuous activities during peak heat hours. Remember, pavement and sand can get extremely hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so test surfaces with your hand before letting your pet walk on them.

Never Leave Pets in a Parked Car

Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, posing a severe risk to pets. Heatstroke can occur quickly, and it can be fatal. If you need to run errands, leave your pets at home where they are safe and cool.

Watch for Signs of Overheating

Pets can’t tell us when they’re too hot, so it’s important to watch for signs of overheating. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and uncoordinated movements. If your pet shows any of these signs, move them to a cooler area immediately and offer water. Applying cool (not cold) water to their body can help lower their temperature. Seek veterinary care if their condition does not improve.

Grooming and Skin Care

Regular grooming can help keep your pet cool. For pets with thick fur, consider a summer haircut, but avoid shaving them completely as their coat protects them from sunburn. Brush your pets regularly to remove excess fur and mats. Be mindful of sunburn, especially on pets with light-colored fur or exposed skin. Pet-safe sunscreens are available, but consult your vet for recommendations.

Be Cautious with Cooling Products

While pet cooling mats, vests, and bandanas can help, ensure that they are used correctly and do not cause discomfort. Always supervise your pet when using these products to ensure they don’t chew or ingest them.

Protect Against Pests

Warm weather often brings an increase in pests like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, which can carry diseases. Ensure your pet is on a veterinarian-recommended preventive treatment for parasites. Regularly check your pets for any signs of pests and keep their living area clean.

Special Care for Certain Breeds

Brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short noses like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Persian cats) are more prone to heatstroke due to their airway structure. Extra caution is needed for these breeds in hot weather. Similarly, older pets, overweight pets, and those with medical conditions may require more attention and care during hot weather.

Plan Ahead for Emergencies

In case of power outages or air conditioning failures, have a backup plan to keep your pets cool. This could include access to a basement, cool wet towels, or a friend or neighbor’s house with a cooler environment.

Keeping pets safe and comfortable during hot weather requires diligence and proactive care. By following these guidelines, pet owners can help their furry companions enjoy the summer safely. Always prioritize their well-being, and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s health in the heat.