Summer Care

Summer Health Tips to Protect Your Pet

The long hot days of summer can be hazardous to your pet's health. The good news is most problems are preventable. 

Parked cars are potential death traps during hot summer months because temperatures inside the car can easily climb beyond 120°F  on a sunny day. Pets are best left at home, but if you absolutely must leave your pet in a car, please do the following: 

  • Open windows and vents as wide as possible without providing an escape route. 
  • Better yet, put your pet in a well-ventilated cage inside the car and open the windows fully. 
  • Provide water.
  • Check the car every few minutes. Signs of heat stress include:
    • Panting
    • Anxiousness
    • Rapid Pulse
    • Staggering and Collapse

Treat heat stress immediately by:

  • Bathing in cold water 
  • Spraying with a garden hose 
  • Call your veterinarian immediately 

More tips to protect your pet's health this summer:

  • Keep your pet's kennel well ventilated and positioned near a shaded area to avoid midday sun and heat. 
  • Avoid excessive exercise during hot weather. Overexertion commonly causes heat stress. 
  • Always keep plenty of fresh drinking water available. 
  • Vaccinate your pet against infectious diseases. 
  • Lawn herbicides can poison pets. Keep your pets out of the yard while spraying herbicides and for three days afterward. 
  • Pesticides also poison pets. While rodents, snails, and slugs are not out to get your pet, the poisons that kill these pests can be lethal to dogs and cats.
  • Keep your pet well groomed. Clip long hair and hair mats to help cool your pet and prevent skin disease.
  • Declare war on fleas. Ask your veterinarian about safe and cost effective flea control programs. Don't waste money on over-the-counter products that don't work.

This information is provided to you compliments of:
Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association
P.O. Box 154, Barrington, RI 02806-0154
(401) 521-0101