Pet Heat Safety Tips for Baltimore Area Pets

When the sun comes out, the paws come out to play! Yet the summer sun can cause some dangerous conditions for our pets. With their thick coats and inability to sweat, they are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Cats and dogs expel heat by panting, which is far less effective than sweating. What’s more is that flat-faced breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, and Persians, have a harder time keeping themselves cool due to their shortened airways. At Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology, we want you and your pets to be able to enjoy the summer safely which is why we’ve come up with some effective pet heat safety tips!

pet heat safety in towson, annapolis and columbia, md

Tips for Staying Cool

  • Avoid taking walks midday when the sun is at its highest. Instead, take walks with your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
  • Keep in mind surfaces like asphalt and metal can be 40-60+ degrees hotter than the surrounding air temperature. If the pavement feels too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for pets to walk on. Whenever possible, stick to grass or shady areas instead.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car. The temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels in mere minutes, putting your pet at risk of heatstroke and even death. Always take them out with you or leave them at home in the air conditioning!
  • If your pet needs to be outside on a warm day for any length of time, make sure they have cool water to drink and a shady place to rest. It doesn’t hurt to also fill a kiddie pool with water for them to splash around in!
  • Recognize the signs of heatstroke which include: excessive panting, drooling, lethargy and unresponsiveness, diarrhea/vomiting, and finally, collapse. If you notice your pet slowing down in the heat, take them inside to air conditioning immediately. Wrap them in cool wet towels to help bring their body temperature down and call your veterinarian for further instruction.
cat by the pool

Pet Safety Near the Water

In our area around Annapolis and greater Baltimore, heading to the beach is a common pastime for a warm sunny day. Bringing your pet along can be a great experience for them, but be sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure their safety near the water!

  • Keep a close eye on your dog near the water to prevent them from swimming out too far. Even the strongest swimmers can tire out in the waves! If possible, having a leash on them is the surest way to make sure they don’t get too far.
  • Barrel-chested breeds like Bulldogs and Boxers are not very good swimmers, so keep a life jacket on them whenever near the water for their safety.
  • When out on a boat, every pet needs a life jacket, just like every human passenger!
  • Keep your pet from drinking seawater by providing lots of your own water from home.
  • Excited dogs have a tendency to ingest a lot of sand when they’re digging or chasing a frisbee with reckless abandon. Once in the stomach, sand can become cement and can cause serious gastrointestinal damage. Try to avoid getting your dog too riled up so they have better control of what they’re putting in their mouths.

For more tips and information about pet heat safety and water safety, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (410) 224-0121 (option 2)!