6 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Heat

A sweltering day is as unpleasant — and potentially dangerous — for dogs and cats as it is for humans. Heed these tips to keep your pets healthy and comfortable through the dog days of summer

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Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

the dog in the picture is so cute and adorable. i am totally a dog person and love being with dogs. that dog looks like a snowball.

scott dawson

Fire training Gauteng

krozareq
krozareq

I locked my puppies in the freezer. They hated it at first but haven't complained since. 

ROKWUD
ROKWUD

 Hmmm, nice article, but about 2 months late, but better late than never.

Redfeather Hendon
Redfeather Hendon

Not to pat myself and my wife on the back but .....we have two large dog kennels insulated with old bathroom rugs  for the feral cats we take care of.  And a large insulated water bowl that won't freeze in winter.   We have 4 at least in the yard using the kennels.  Both our inside cats were feral but converted to householdism.  They watch Animal Planet.  The outside ferals stay comfortable and are fed well.   Keep snakes away too.

Kathy Mulholland-Isabell
Kathy Mulholland-Isabell

If your pet or any other animal you see seems to be suffering from heat, get water or ice on the head, belly and groin.  My Boston Terrier escaped from the yard several years ago and people found her, they instinctively put wet towels on her head.  When I got her to the emergency vets her body temp was 110.  She had only been gone 30 minutes.  She had other health challenges which complicated her condition, Cushings disease and severe epilepsy.  She had brain damage and lived only a few more months.  In triple digit heat a dog or cat which has been lost or accidentally shut out of its home can die in a few hours without intervention.  Please look after your neighbors' pets and educate them about water and shade for outdoor animals.

celH1
celH1

I never left my dog out in the heat. The few times I had to go somewhere, I always worried it might get hot for her.. I always left her on the porch, where it was shady and cool.. But  just in case it might get  too hot for her  to feel comfortable .... I bought a mister and kept it going where she could get under it if she got hot..

They are great.. And every dog owner should set one up in an area so that the dog can get to it if they want. Even if they have plenty of shade ... Who knows if the dog is comfortable anyway, or not..

They can drop the heat as much as 10 degrees.. And dogs WILL  use them.

Redfeather Hendon
Redfeather Hendon

If the wife and I go out we just leave the AC on.  I realize that isn't possible for some with the economy but I'm on a plan so the extra will be spread out over the year.  

Toni Rosati Brightman
Toni Rosati Brightman

I'm a professional groomer and have been for more than thirty years.  The idea that a heavy coat insulates against the heat is BS!  It's like saying a fur coat is just wonderful in the summertime.  Unless you have a show dog, go ahead and clip them in the summer.  You *will* notice a positive difference in their comfort.  Just be careful of sunburn.  

Mark Ransom
Mark Ransom

Then how do you explain why the Rough Collie that frequents my dog park that is sheared like a lamb ever summer is constantly overheating, while his two playmates (a full coated Newfoundland, and full coated Malamute) are perfectly fine?  It depends on the coat type.  True double coated breeds should NEVER be shaved as it really does protect the dog from the heat and UV rays.  Guard hairs reflect UV rays protecting the dog from getting sunburned.  Guard hairs also trap cooler hair acting as an air conditioning system.  When you shave a double coated breed, you are shaving off all the guard hair that serves the purpose of protecting a dog from the elements.  

Rev_Oakes
Rev_Oakes

I've had rough collies for about 50 years, bred, showed, rescued, etc. I'm also a retired pro groomer.  Newfs and Mals are also double coated breeds, by the way, like collies.  If you know anything about heat transmission/insulation, there are only a few ways heat is transferred/lost/gained:  radiation (direct or reflected sun, e.g.), conduction (contact with cool/warm objects such as floors), convection (actually conduction via cool/warm air/water travelling across skin), and evaporation, largely from panting in the case of dogs; misting is another way to use evaporation, best in non-humid weather.  

A long coat protects only against the sun's radiation, or in some cases when the ambient temperatures are higher than the dog's body.  Unfortunately a long coat also "protects" against heat loss when the environment is cooler than the body, such as in a shaded run, an air-conditioned environment, etc.  

When the long coat has been thoroughly groomed, with all the undercoat removed, the collie (or other) coat is perfect for a dog in summer.  Otherwise, it insulates the poor dog against cool floors, grass, cool breezes, and air conditioning.   And I've seen few pet collies who were groomed thoroughly!

In practice, I've seen the before/after difference between unshaven and shaved roughs (given that the roughs haven't yet lost their undercoats or been thoroughly groomed out).  From droopy, panting, obviously uncomfortable dogs they usually go to much happier, more energetic and comfortable ones.  

When shaving I prefer to leave half an inch to an inch of coat; if I can't do that, I recommend a light covering any time he's out in the sun, until the coat grows out a bit.  Of course NO dog should EVER be left even very  briefly without shade, some sort of shelter, and cool fresh water.  

For my own collies, when summer comes way before undercoats shed, I shave their abdomens and inner stifles completely, then a path a few inches wide, forward to between the elbows.  It's essentially invisible but lets the dogs feel the cool of floors, cool air and grass, and makes them obviously more comfortable.  An elderly, infirm and very uncomfortable collie might well get a shave.  

That's a beautifully groomed bichon, by the way!

Rolf Hawkins
Rolf Hawkins

They failed to mention never give your pet ice water if you suspect heat stroke, as that constricts their blood vessels and can cause shock.

alteredego
alteredego

♫ ♯  "Take me to the river..."♪♫ ♪ My dogs know what THAT song's about.