Keep Pets Safe in the Heat

  Keep Pets Safe in the Heat

“How and where to cool animals down when temps soar


    There are days when some dogs appreciate a bath—a cool one, that is. Darci Adams/The HSUS

  • Bodhi needs plenty of water when they hike on a hot day. Jacquelyn Pyun/The HSUS

  • Military dogs in hot places such as Afghanistan wear cooling vests. How about your dog? Major Donna DeBonis

  • When they were ferals, Spike and Savannah were stuck outside in the blistering heat. They’re happier (and safer) inside. Bob and Marie Grier

  • On hot days, a dog house can become a sauna. Take your pooch inside where it’s cool or set them free in the yard with access to plenty of shade and water.


The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It’s difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.

We can help you keep your pets safe and cool this summer. Follow our tips for helping everyone in your family stay healthy and comfortable when the heat is on (and even if the power isn’t).

Practice basic summer safety

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Learn how to help a pet left inside a hot car by taking action or calling for help. Local law enforcement can follow this handy guide for how to proceed.

Watch the humidity

“It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet,” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”

Taking a dog’s temperature will quickly tell you if there is a serious problem. Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature does, follow the instructions below for treating heat stroke.

Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or…”

Continue reading this article to know what to watch out for and how to keep your pets safe in the warmer weather.


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