Dogs keeping cool in a paddling pool

Five ways to keep your pets cool this summer

If your pet overheats, it can suffer heatstroke, which can cause organ failure and even death. Pets that are elderly, overweight or suffering from a medical condition are particularly susceptible, along with flat-face dogs such as pugs, French bulldogs and English bulldogs.

January 21, 2021

Here are five tips on keeping your pets cool this summer:

  1. Walk your dog very early in the morning or in the early evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  2. Check the heat of the pavement by using the back of your hand. Hold it on the pavement for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it will be too hot for your dog.
  3. Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle. Even when the windows are down or the car is parked in the shade, it won’t be enough to stop your pet from overheating. When the outside temperature is just 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 47 degrees in just an hour.
  4. Make sure your pets have access to plenty of shade and clean, fresh water when outside. Place a few extra bowls of water around just in case one gets knocked over. On really hot and humid days, bring your pets inside.
  5. Keep your littlest pets in the shade or indoors at all times. Pets kept in cages or hutches (such as birds or rabbits) won’t be able to seek out shade for themselves.

Heat Stress

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stress, cool them down by wetting with cool (not cold) water and bring them into a cool, air-conditioned environment. Then, get them to a vet as soon as possible.

Signs of heat stress include:

  • Excessive panting & drooling
  • Restlessness & agitation
  • Appearing weak & lethargic
  • Drowsiness
  • Wobbly legs, collapsing or unstable on feet
  • Warm to touch, especially the less furred areas such as the belly
  • Bright red tongue or gums

Source: RSPCA

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