How to Keep Your Pet Cool on Hot Days

Dog outside in summer with sunglasses on.

As summer approaches, it’s even more important than ever to keep an eye on your pets in the heat and humidity. It doesn’t take long for your sweet furry friend to overheat, get dehydrated, burn their paws on hot cement or suffer from heat stroke. If any of these things do happen, go to your nearest animal hospital immediately. Of course we hope to avoid that altogether by helping you keep your furry friend cool all summer long, so here are a few helpful tips to keep your pet cool on hot days.

  1. Never leave your pet in a vehicle
    This is the first point because it is the most important and is a huge reason for animal hospital visits in the summer months. We know it’s fun to take your pet on errands with you, but if it means they will be left in the car, leave them at home. Even on a day that’s only 85º, the temperatures in the car with the windows down can reach 120º within 30 minutes. Your pet could have irreversible damage to their organs or worse, so just leave them at home enjoying the air conditioning while you’re gone. They’ll be so excited to see you when you come back, and you’ll know that you kept your furry pal safe.
    Note: if you see a pet locked in a car, be sure to call the police immediately for the safety and protection of that animal. They can get the pet to the proper animal hospital to be checked out. You may be the reason that pet lives.
  2. Limit the amount of fun outside
    Having fun outside in the summer is an age-old tradition that we know you and your pets will want to partake in. Playing outside together is not bad at all, in fact, we want you making memories together. Just be mindful of how long your pet spends outside and keep note of how much humidity there is that day. Your pet will go and go to continue spending time with you, but you’ll want to notice if they haven’t had water in a while or start getting winded quickly.
  3. Find ways to keep cool while outside
    Dog walking outside in a field around sunset.There are lots of fun ways to keep your pet cool while outside playing. If you have a pool and your pet enjoys the water and can swim, that’s a great option. Small kiddie pools are great too, especially for smaller dogs. Putting ice cubes in your pet’s water dish helps, playing in the sprinklers, cooling towels, playing in the shade, and cooling mats are all great options as well. You can also do animal popsicles to help keep their organs cool during the summer heat and give them a fun treat for being the best sidekick ever in your summer fun.
  4. Be mindful of cement and other hot surfaces
    Animal paw pads are extremely sensitive, and hot surfaces can burn them easily. We see this often in the summer at our animal hospital, so please keep your pet safe and protected. Whether you’re on a walk, playing in the driveway or walking on the hot sand, you’ll want to be careful how much time your pet spends walking on those surfaces. Animal boots and socks are a good answer to help keep their paw pads from burning, but they aren’t a full solution. The best way to ensure your pet’s paws are safe from the heat is to avoid hot surfaces as much as possible. Walks in the evening or early morning hours are a great way to still enjoy getting some exercise without compromising safety.
  5. Know your pet
    Every animal is different. Whether it be personality, breed, type of animal, and tolerance level, none are the same. You know your pet better than anyone else and should know the signs of when they’re getting too hot or spending too much time running and playing outside in the heat. Talk to your local veterinarian to find out about your pet’s breed and what they generally can and cannot handle, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to know your pet. They trust you to keep them safe, and we love them for it, so let’s help them have a fun and safe summer.

If you think your pet even possibly has heat stroke or you find their paws have been burned or any number of things that can happen on summer days, be sure to visit your local animal hospital immediately for treatment. If you’re in the Greensboro area, our staff at Guilford College Animal Hospital are on call and ready to help at a moment’s notice. It’s always better to have your pet checked out just in case than to think everything is fine and find out later it’s only been made worse because it wasn’t treated. Summer can be a fun time for everyone, including your pet, but we want to make sure they stay safe and healthy through hot, sunny days.

To schedule an appointment for a regular checkup at our Greensboro animal hospital, you can fill out the form on our website any time or call us during normal business hours. Walkins are also welcome as we are always happy to assist your pet in any emergency. Let’s work together to keep your furry friend happy and healthy for many years to come.

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