Heat Safety Tips For Pets

  • When walking or jogging with your dog, stay on the concrete sidewalks and away from the blacktop as much as possible, as the asphalt is typically much hotter and has more debris that could potentially injure your pet's paws.
  • Do not overexert your dog.  If your pet has been ill or injured recently, undergone surgery, is aged or significantly overweight, or has known cardiovascular disease, start slowly and increase your pace over time.
  • If your dog is a braciocephalic breed (such as a pug, Boston terrier, or boxer), he or she may be more prone to heatstroke due to the conformation of his or her nose and face.  Make sure you provide your pet with plenty of breaks and water stops.
  • Heatstroke is a serious, often unexpected problem.  Some of the more common signs of heatstroke are excessive panting, drooling, bright red tongue/gums, swollen tongue and eventual collapse.  If you think your dog is experiencing signs of heatstroke, stop and seek veterinary attention immediately.  Offer your pet plenty of water and then fan.
  • Your dog should not exercise after a meal in high heat.
  • Do not allow your dog to drink large amounts of water too quickly before or after exercising.  In some dogs, especially larger breeds or those with deep, narrow chests, this can cause a serious condition called bloat.  Signs could include attempts to vomit with no production, a distended abdomen, shock and collapse.  Seek veterinary attention immediately if you are concerned about your pet.
  • Keep your dog out of a parked car. Even with the windows cracked on a 75 degree day, the car temperature can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.
  • Dogs can get sunburn just like humans.  Use sunscreen.  A good hypoallergenic product should be used on noses and other exposed areas.
  • Always carry a gallon of water for your pet.
  • Do not take an animal to the beach unless you can provide adequate shade and plenty of fresh water.  Rinse your pet off after he has been in salt water.
  • Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.  Be alert to coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from a vehicle.  Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal.  Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 4ANI-HELP if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned.
  • Keep your pet well-groomed to stave off summer skin problems.

Courtesy: Richmond SPCA