How to Keep Pets Cool in the Summer

There are so many fun ways to experience the joys of summer with our pets. Since they cannot tell us how they’re feeling, it is up to us to proactively keep pets cool and safe. Overheating in pets can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and, in severe cases, death. The team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is here to help you keep your pets cool so they can enjoy all that summer has to offer.

Be Smart About Heat Exposure

Sometimes it’s just too hot outside for pets to safely enjoy the day without overheating. Try to avoid spending time outside during the hottest parts of the day–typically between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you have to go outside for bathroom breaks during this window, limit them to about ten minutes or less. Stay in shaded areas when possible to limit your pet’s direct exposure to the heat.

Although we do not recommend keeping pets entirely outdoors during the summer, if you have no other choice, be sure to do the following:

  • Provide plenty of shade where they can avoid direct sunlight
  • Keep water bowls full at all times
  • Fill a baby pool full of water so they can cool down if necessary
  • Check on them regularly and get veterinary attention right away if their health suddenly changes
  • Buy cooling gear like a cooling mat, a splash pad, or other gear to help keep your pet cool.

Watch their Paws

Concrete and pavement temperatures increase rapidly and even a short walk to the end of the street can damage your pet’s paws during the summer. To avoid this, try to limit your summer walks to early morning or evening and try to stick to shaded areas or grass. You can also purchase paw protecting booties that offer a barrier to the heat, but not every dog will be a fan of wearing them. 

Never Leave Pets in the Car

One of the absolute rules of pet care during the summer is to never leave them alone in a hot car. Even if you have to run into the store for five minutes, interior temperatures can get to dangerous levels before you know it. If it’s only 70 degrees outside, it’ll be about 90 degrees inside the vehicle. If it’s closer to 85 degrees outside, the interior of the car will be about 102 degrees. These temperatures can be life-threatening to pets and you should never leave them unattended in a hot vehicle. In the heat, it is better to either leave them at home or take them in with you if possible. 

Keep Pets Cool with Frozen Treats

There are plenty of pet-safe frozen treats that can help your pet cool down on a hot day. Throw some watermelon in the freezer to give them an icy surprise during your outside adventures. You can also freeze blueberries, unsweetened pumpkin puree, or cooked sweet potatoes to help keep pets cool. Some pets love chewing on plain ice cubes. Always provide plenty of water even if you are only outside for a short time.

The team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital wants you to keep your pets cool so you and your pets can have a fun and safe summer season. If you have any more questions about heat safety or want to schedule a wellness exam before your upcoming family vacation, please call us at (248) 363–1508.