Care & Feeding

Protect Your Pet During the Dog Days of Summer

Updated August 4, 2017

The Pet Food Institute is sharing this past article again to offer tips for how to keep your pets safe and healthy during the hot summer months.

It’s the dog days of summer, when temperatures soar and we just want a relaxed afternoon resting in the shade. When you take your pup for a walk before heading to the pool, don’t forget that your pet’s health is critical in these extremely warm conditions.

  • Hot pavement: Just as hot sand at the beach can burn our feet, your dog can be sensitive to hot pavement and it can even damage his or her paw pads. Inspect your dog’s paws after walks and take note if your pet appears to be limping.
  • Heat stroke: Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, too. Symptoms can include excessive panting, weakness or dizziness, pale gums, or excessive salivation. If you believe that your dog is suffering from heat stroke, work to cool them down (such as placing cold wet towels on them) and take your pet to the vet immediately. Remember that certain factors, such as obesity or old age, can increase your dog’s risk for heat stroke. Budget their time outdoors in the heat accordingly.
  • Dehydration: Exposure to excessive heat can also result in dehydration. Symptoms can include sunken eyes or a loss in appetite. If your pet is experiencing dehydration, take them to a vet, who can provide additional fluids and medical support. Make sure to always have clean water accessible and available to your dog, especially if they are spending time outside.
  • Hot cars: Never leave your dog in a parked car in warm weather, even if you are in the shade or leaving the pet alone for just a few minutes. The interior of the car can become significantly warmer than the outside temperature after just a few minutes and poses a risk to your pet’s life. Data indicates that if the outside temperature is just 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior of the car can reach 104 degrees in just 20 minutes. Even if you are just running a quick errand, leave your dog in your air conditioned house.

Make sure to help your dog stay cool and safe this summer!