Hot Weather Safety for Pets

As the burning summer sun beats down, we need to take steps to make sure our furry companions are staying safe in the heat. Note these tips from a Dunedin veterinary professional.

Hydration and Shade

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer months, make sure he has plenty of fresh, cool water to stay hydrated. Also set up a shady spot so your pet has somewhere to cool down. The signs of overheating include panting, difficulty breathing, weakness, drooling, seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you see any of these symptoms, move your pet to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian immediately.


Pets are also susceptible to sunburn, especially on exposed areas like nose and tips of the ears. Purchase a sunscreen specially-formulated for cats or dogs, and never use human sunscreen as it is too strong for animal skin.

Don’t Leave Pets in the Car

Even on relatively milder days, the temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket in a matter of minutes. Never leave your pet unattended in a car, as serious injury or even death can result. In some states, leaving your pet alone in a car during hot or cold weather is actually illegal.

Steer Clear of Asphalt

In the summer, asphalt can become blistering hot when the sun bakes down on it for a few hours. It can burn your pet’s paw pads, causing painful blisters, if your pet has to walk on it. In addition, since your pet is so close to the ground, the asphalt can heat up your pet’s body in a matter of minutes. Keep your pet clear of blacktopped areas.

Don’t Trim Your Pet’s Fur

You might think you’re doing your pet a favor by trimming down or shaving his fur to keep him cool—you’re not. The layers of your pet’s coat protect him from overheating and sunburn, so never shave or clip your pet.

Call your Dunedin veterinarian for more helpful hot-weather safety tips.


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