Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer

Keeping your pets safe in the heat is an essential of pet care. Unfortunately, some pet owners have a perception that pets can survive in the extreme summer heat, which is not always the case. They also want to be cool and stay away from the sun. Here are some fundamental summer safety tips for your pet that you need to try.

1. Don’t Leave Pets in a Parked Car

You should never leave your animal friend in a parked car, regardless of the weather conditions. The interior of a vehicle parked in the sun can quickly reach temperatures upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, even with the windows cracked open.

In addition, animals can only sweat through their paw pads and noses, so they’re unable to cool themselves as efficiently as humans. This puts your pets at a higher risk for heatstroke, which can cause organ damage and be fatal.

Suppose you’re planning on running errands or going somewhere that won’t allow pets. In that case, make arrangements for a friend or family member to watch them in a comfortable and air-conditioned environment.

2. Visit the Vet Before Summer Starts

For veterinarians, summer is the busiest time because pet parents wait to schedule appointments until their animals are already sick. To avoid the vet rush and ensure your pet is healthy and safe all season, take them in for a check-up a few weeks before summer begins.

The vet will likely ask about your animal’s diet and exercise habits during the appointment and may suggest some lifestyle changes. They’ll also check for any pre-existing conditions that could make your pet more susceptible to problems in the heat, such as obesity, diabetes, respiratory diseases, or heart conditions.

3. Provide Plenty of Shade and Water

Pets need access to shade to escape the hot sun and take a break from the heat. If you don’t have a shaded area in your yard, create one by setting up a pop-up canopy or erecting a temporary fence around a shady tree.

You should also fill multiple water bowls and place them in different locations inside and outside your home. In the summer, it’s best to use ceramic or metal bowls instead of plastic because they won’t get as hot in the sun. Be sure to clean and refill the bowls at least once a day, so the water stays fresh.

4. Limit Exercise in the Heat

Exercising is essential for your pet’s health, but you need to be careful about how often you let them do it in the summer. The best time to walk or play with your dog is early in the morning or later at night when it’s cooler outside. Try to avoid the midday heat, typically the most intense part of the day.

If you have a yard for your pet to play in, make sure plenty of shade and water are available. If they’re going to be outside for an extended period, put on a light-colored t-shirt or apply pet-safe sunscreen to their fur to help reflect some of the sun’s rays.


Summer heat can be dangerous for pets, so it’s essential to take precautions to keep them cool and comfortable. By following these tips, you can help your furry friend stay safe all season long. Reach out to Sunnyside Pet Hospital for more information about how to care for your pet in the summer.