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Keeping Your Pet Cool in the Summer Heat

Heat Exhaustion Signs and Symptoms

Excessive heat can affect all of your dog’s major body systems. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. Be on the lookout for the following signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy panting and rapid breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dry mucous membranes (i.e., gums and nostrils)
  • Bright red gums and tongue
  • Skin that’s hot to the touch
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty maintaining balance

If these signs are present, move your dog indoors or into shade. Offer small sips of cool (not cold!) water. Continue to monitor your pet for additional signs of heat stroke, and contact a veterinary professional if needed.

Heat Stroke Signs and Symptoms

As heat exhaustion progresses, dogs can experience heat stroke. If your pet displays any of the following signs and symptoms, contact an emergency veterinary professional immediately.

  • Pale mucous membranes with white or blue gums
  • Very rapid heart rate
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Hyperventilation
  • Worsening dehydration
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irregular pulse
  • Muscle tremors
  • Extreme lethargy and unwillingness to move
  • Urinating or defecating uncontrollably
  • Collapse

Help Beat the Heat

There are many ways you can help your pet stay cool as summer fades into fall! Here are a few ideas to help keep your pets safe and feeling their best.

  • Limit outdoor playtime, training sessions, or walks during peak heat hours (10:00 am – 4:00 pm). Try sticking to early morning or late evening walks, if possible.
  • Provide access to fresh, cool water at all times.
  • If you must be outdoors, find time to take water breaks in the shade.
  • Swap outdoor playtime for an indoor activity. Check out food puzzles, snuffle mats, and Kong filler recipes for enrichment.
  • Offer cold treats such as a spoonful of yogurt, ice cubes (be mindful of dog size and choking hazards), bits of frozen fruit or vegetables, or even a puppy popsicle!

Let us know in the comments how you’re keeping your pet cool this summer!

Overnight and daycare at Pets and Peeps

Includes two guaranteed 30-minute dog walks, play, feeding, meds (if needed). Dogs are never left more than 4- 4.5 hours alone, less if the dog is crated.

In-home visits for cats

Includes kitty litter change, playtime, feeding, and meds if needed.

In-home visits for dogs

Includes potty breaks, dog walking, jogging, playtime, feeding, and meds (if needed).