Young, old, or sick, all pets are vulnerable to the heat.

It is harder for pets to get rid of body heat than it is for humans. Humans can sweat but our furry critters get rid of body heat through breathing and panting. The summer heat can cause the circulatory and respiratory systems to work harder, resulting in heat stress.

A pet overheating can cause heatstroke, irreparable brain damage or even death.

Some signs of heatstroke are:

  • Pet seems listless
  • Eyes are glazy
  • Labored panting or breathing
  • Pet’s body is hot to the touch

Normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101.5 to 102.2 Fahrenheit. A pet will become very sick if his or her temperature rises above 103 and death can occur at 106 and higher.

If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, make every effort to cool the pet down quickly. Immerse your pet in cold water or wrap your pet in wet cold towels. Apply ice packs to the head and neck.


Do not leave pets in a car! Even with the windows down, the temperature inside will rise to a dangerous level.

Outside pets should have adequate shade and water.

Have a child’s shallow swimming pool so your dog can cool off. Make sure the pool is in the shade and/or cool water is running into the pool.

Keep your pet brushed. By brushing your pet, you will keep hair free from tangles and mats which will help maintain a lower body temperature.

Avoid hot places such as garages or other unventilated enclosures.

Summer coats protect from sunburn or provide insulation from the heat. Talk to your veterinarian before you clip your pet’s coat.

Walking or outdoor exercising your pet should be done early morning or late evening.


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