By Tannis McLaren ND

The dog days of summer are here and if you haven’t noticed, it’s HOT out there! We’ve heard one too many reports of people leaving their pets in cars and it’s sad that we even have to remind people not to do it. The heat can be harmful to your pet and even fatal so here are some tips to help keep your pet cool.

Never leave your pet in a car! If it feels cool outside, temperatures in cars can still reach as much as 49 degrees Celsius (even with windows down).

Pets need sunscreen too. Although they have fur, they can still get burned just like you and I. Keep your pet out of the sun between 10a.m. and 4p.m.

Water, water, water. When you are both indoors and out, your pet needs plenty of fresh water. Check water bowls throughout the day and always carry water on walks.

Be cautious on humid days. Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess heat.

Bring them inside. Animals should not be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade.

Stay off the asphalt. While the pads of dog’s paws are tough, they are not tough enough to handle the prolonged exposure to hot asphalt without burning! Reach down, place your palm firmly on the ground if you can not hold your hand there without it hurting then it’s probably too hot.

Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Just like humans, pets can get heatstroke which could be fatal. The signs to look for are:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse