5 Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

It’s getting hotter out there, and you know what that means! More sunshine, more swimming, more sand, snowcones and surf. With the hotter temperatures, it’s inevitable that you and your pup will be spending more time outside. Here are some wonderful tips to make sure you play safe!

1. Love the Leash (or Fence)!

Most pet-related automobile accidents occur in the summer, for a number of reasons. 1) More people are out. 2) More folks are running around. 3) More folks are running around with their pets. 4) “They don’t need a leash” is not good enough protection from cars.

2. Cars Don’t Just Aim For Canines

Many cats also get hit by cars. Everyone’s moving around more and there are lots of juicy things to hunt. Cars aren’t specific, and it’s been proven that cats have significantly less than 9 lives. Trust me.  Consider cracking a window open (with a screen), or a catio if Kitty is really needing fresh air! ** Make sure windows have well-fitted screens.

3. Dawn & Dusk is Best!

Don’t allow pups to exercise or play hard during very hot weather or the hottest part of day. **ESPECIALLY not brachiocephalic (short-nosed breeds, such as bulldogs or pugs). They are prone to heat stroke, and we see them too often in the ER during the summers. Exercise your dogs in the early morning and evening. Also consider where you are walking, unless your pup gets to wear shoes, too! The asphalt and pavement gets pretty toasty:



Not a car that’s turned off, or a car that’s turned on.

Not a car in the shade, or a car with AC.

Not with an open window, or with Enya playing.  (Are you hearing a theme?)

You can get out of the car if it’s too much. Your pup can’t. See below:

2016-06-10 19.28.20

5. Know the Signs of Heat Stroke:

How do you know if your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion? The signs of heat stroke are non-specific:

  • Excessive panting
  • Bright red tongue and gums
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

Heatstroke can quickly damage vital internal organs. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, try to cool them down by wetting them with cool water and immediately take them to your veterinarian for additional treatment. Wetting them down IS NOT TREATMENT, but may give you more time to make it to your vet. Without speedy treatment, heatstroke can be fatal.


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