Summer Do's and Don'ts for Pets

Jul 9, 2016

It is too hot to play - just relaxing in the shade!
Credit Superman [Flickr]

Keeping your pet safe in the summer heat means plenty of shade, a full water bowl, walking your pet with care, and never, never leaving it in a closed car, even for a few minutes!


Whew! I like warm weather but the last couple of weeks, it’s been really HOT outside! And it’s only July - the summer heat will be with us for a while. offers a great list of Do’s and Don’ts for keeping your pet safe on these hot days.

Let’s start with the “DON’Ts”.

DON’T walk your dog in the heat of the afternoon. If it’s too hot for you to go barefooted on hot pavement DON’T make your dog walk on it.

DON’T leave any pet in a parked car for ANY length of time. Even on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a closed car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. On warmer days it heats up even faster and hotter.

DON’T shave your dog in an attempt to keep it cooler. Its coat will actually provide protection from the heat and from sunburn. Yes, dogs can burn just like you and me. (But DO keep your furry friend’s coat brushed to remove dead hair and increase the air circulation through its coat.)

If your pet gets too hot, DON’T try to cool it off with icy cold water. The sudden extreme temperature difference could put the animal in shock. Cool water works best, especially if you can immerse the animal’s body in it.

Now the “DOs”.

DO make sure your outside pet always has access to shade and clean water. DO think about buying one of those hard plastic kiddie pools so your pet can jump in and cool off.

If you take your dog for a walk, DO it in the cooler part of the day - early in the morning or after the sun goes down. And regardless of the time of day, DO take along some water for your furry buddy.

Finally, DO learn the symptoms of heat stroke in pets: excessive panting, drooling, restlessness, dry mucous membranes, increased heart rate. Heat stroke is an emergency – you must cool the animal down and get it to a veterinarian immediately – it could save your pet’s life.

Your pet is depending on you to keep it safe. A few simple DO’s and DON’Ts will keep your best friend happy and healthy in the summer heat and humidity, when you’re speaking of pets.