4 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe in Hot Weather

When the summer sun comes out, your personal care routine is bound to change. You drink more water, find ways to keep cool, and wear lighter fabrics. But you aren’t the only one whose routine needs an upgrade. 

Even on days that don’t seem that hot to you, your pet could be at risk for heat stroke! Be sure to give your pet a little extra TLC to ensure their safety during the hot summer months. Here are 4 tips for keeping your pet safe during the warmer season:


Just like humans need more water during the summer, so do their furry friends. Be sure that your pet has access to fresh water all day long, and encourage them to drink often.

Some pets even enjoy a little ice in their water or some frozen treats to help keep cool. You can find many pet-safe recipes for summer treats with a simple Google search.

Schedule a Haircut

If you have a long-haired pet, you may be tempted to get their fur cut for the summer. Don’t schedule that grooming appointment just yet! Your pet’s fur actually acts as sun protection, and a shave might do more harm than good.

If your pet’s fur is really long, a trim should more than suffice. A professional groomer will know just the right cut for each breed, but if you want to do it yourself, be sure to leave an inch of fur for sun protection. 

Keep Cool

Planning on spending the day in the sun? Be sure your pet has access to shade to cool down.

Many breeds that have flat or ultra-short snouts – think pugs, boxers, and bulldogs – cannot pant as effectively, which puts them at a higher risk for heat stroke. It is best to leave these breeds, as well as any really young, old, or sick pets in air conditioning as much as you can.

If your day is full of errands, leave your pet home if you can. 

Don’t ever leave your pet in the car, even parked in the shade or with windows cracked. Cars can overheat in mere minutes, reaching temperatures that are lethal to your pet

Limit Exercise

We all benefit from regular exercise, and so do our pets! Not only is exercise good for your pet’s health, but a bored pet can wreak havoc on your home!

Even in the summer, you can get your pet the exercise it needs. You just need to tweak your routine a bit.

Try taking any walks early in the morning or later at night, when the temperature is significantly cooler. Avoid hot asphalt and concrete, which can cause painful burns on their paw pads. Don’t forget to bring some water! You and your pet will need to hydrate more frequently during summer walks.

As a general rule, if it is hot for you, it is even hotter for your pet. Take breaks from exercising in the heat more often than you think you need. 

Know the Signs of Heat Stress

While it is obvious to watch out for high temperatures, it is not the only concern. Even on a beautiful day, high humidity levels can still result in issues for your pet. 

Watch out for these symptoms, as they could be evidence of heat stress:

  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

More severe symptoms include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit, as well as an elevated temperature of over 104 degrees. 

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, head to your vet immediately! The quicker they get care, the better they will recover.

Quality Veterinary Care in Frederick, MD

The summer heat can be uncomfortable for your pet, and can even make them sick. The best way to notice when your pet is feeling “off” is to get regular wellness checkups by a vet so you have a health baseline.

At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we perform many services for well and sick pets throughout Frederick, MD and beyond! Come see us for your pet’s annual check-up, vaccinations, grooming, and more! Schedule your appointment today!