Important Tips for Pets on Hot Days

Welcome summer!  While many of us love the summer heat, we have to be vigilant about caring for our pets during this time.

We’ve all seen it.  We’ll be walking into a store and notice a dog in a car with the windows barely cracked, if at all.  The dog is panting, clearly in discomfort.   Even if one thinks that they’re just making a “quick” stop, the temperature can climb to dangerous levels very quickly.  Even if it is a cool day, this is not a good idea.  When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car can climb to 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.   The temperature can increase by 40 degrees in 10 minutes.  Dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people.  Imagine yourself sitting in a hot car with a fur coat on!

According to the ASPCA, the shade offers little protection on a hot day, so even if you’re parked under a tree, your pet is not going to stay cool.  Pets most at risk for overheating include young animals, elderly animals, overweight animals, those with short muzzles and those with thick or dark-colored coats.

So what can we do if we see this?  Try to locate the pet parent, go into the store and ask that they try to locate the owner of the car, and/or CALL 911.  We have to be the voice for these guys!

Limiting exercise to the early morning hours or evening hours will help your pup from overheating.  It’s important to remember even if the temperature is not high, humidity can be a problem.    In   “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet,” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”

The asphalt can be extremely dangerous, as well.  If it’s too hot for you to walk barefooted, it’s too hot for the pet.   Their pads can blister and/or become raw.  Try to keep your pet in the grass, if possible.  Again, limit walks to early morning or evening when the pavement will be cooler.

Enjoy the summer, stay cool, and help your pet do the same!



  1. Billie Sagers says

    Nice job Syndi! Although we don’t have a dog some of these ideas can apply to cats too!
    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Syndi Steele says

      Yes, that’s a very good point, Billie! Thanks for your input, and I’m glad you like the blog!

  2. Janelle Gamble says

    Great first post!!!! Wonderful tips! If I see would see a dog in a hot car, I would probably bust out the window and just take them home 🙂 🙂

Speak Your Mind