Pets: Summer Heat and Heat Stroke

Did you know…

When a car is parked and it’s 85 degrees outside, it only takes 10min to reach 104 degrees inside and at 30min it will be 119 degrees – even with windows open? That 15 minutes of you running into the store can be the life or death for you pet.

Don’t leave pets in your vehicle in hot weather – the Punishment for this Animal Cruelty Ranges from a Citation to Jail Time

How hot is it in your car?

When you’re driving, check your pet’s area too making sure that the cooler air is reaching them as well.

Pets Don’t Sweat

Don’t exercise your dog in the heat of the day – dogs can’t sweat – they can only pant to regulate their body heat.

Hot Pavement Can Scald Dogs’ Feet Instantly

Keep your walks and runs to first thing in the morning or in the evening when the weather is cooler.

Keep your pet’s area at home cool with adequate shade and shelter. Having a shallow child’s water pool, one that’s good size for small dogs to get in and out of, is one way to help your dog cool down.

Keep an eye on your guinea pigs, rabbits or birds

Cats cope with heat by finding cool places to rest, and can cool themselves by licking and wetting their hair. Other smaller pets can really suffer from the heat, especially in outdoor enclosures. Check they have enough breeze or cross-ventilation, or take them inside your house if it’s really hot. You can also place a shallow tray filled with water, or something they won’t eat soaked in water in an area of their enclosure – but it must be shallow to avoid drowning risk.

Put Ice Cubes in Your Dog’s Water Bowl

Give your pet at least two water bowls, full of fresh water. This means there’s a back-up option if one water bowl gets tipped over or emptied. You can also freeze a large block of ice to give them in addition to plenty of drinking water.

Recognizing Heat Stroke in Animals

Whether it’s a pet in a back yard or in parked car, recognizing signs of heat stroke can save an animal. Look for:

  • Heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst
  • Bright red tongue and mucus membranes, which turn grey as shock sets in
  • Thick saliva, drooling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Unsteadiness and staggering
  • Lethargy

Get the animal to a vet immediately

Cool the animal down with damp towels

Try to get them to drink water or chew an icecube

See a Dog in a Parked Vehicle? Call 311 or 911

For more information on heat safety for pets or what to do if you encounter an animal in peril, visit the Animal Welfare website.

Also visit, Help your pet keep its cool in hot weather