Overland Park, KS dog in the summer heat.

You love to be outside in the summer, especially if they can be with you. Pets can suffer in high humidity and hot temperatures, which is why it is important to understand how to protect your pets and keep them healthy in the summer heat.

How Hot Is Too Hot in the Car for Your Pet?

We know that it’s dangerous to leave our pets in hot vehicles, but how hot is too hot? Expect that the interior of your vehicle will be at least 20 degrees hotter than the air outside. Temperatures can rapidly rise above 100 degrees within the vehicle. Rolling down windows to let in outside air isn’t good enough. Dogs and cats simply cannot tolerate excessive heat. 

When Should You Take Your Pets Inside?

Temperatures over 70 degrees can put your pets at risk for overheating. If they are chasing balls, running, or playing with each other, they are getting hotter by the minute. Dogs chained up to a tree or a dog house are at great risk from heatstroke. 

If It’s Too Hot to Touch, It’s Too Hot for Paws.

Before you take your dog for an afternoon run, test the pavement or asphalt temperature. If it’s hot to the touch, it’s too hot for your dog or cat. Their paw pads may look tough, but they can easily burn and even blister. Choose to walk or run in the cooler morning or evening temperatures. 

Is the Beach or the Pool Safe for My Pet?

Hot beach sand and hot summer sun can harm your pet. It’s okay to go to the beach if you keep your dog in a shady area and supply plenty of fresh, cool water. Pools offer other dangers for your pet:

  • Pools are generally surrounded by concrete, which gets way too hot for your pet.
  • Pool areas may not offer shade to help keep your pet cool.
  • Chemicals in pool water can be harmful to your pet’s skin, throat, and stomach.

Here are some of the most common health issues you can expect from an overheated animal:

  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heatstroke
  • In extreme cases, death

Our furry pets pant and sweat from their feet to cool themselves. A rapidly panting dog or cat could be in serious trouble from overheating. Excessive panting is a sure sign that your pet needs to be moved immediately to a cooler space. Call Blue Valley Animal Hospital at (913) 681-2818 with questions or concerns about your pet’s health in the summer heat. 

Ways to Help Your Pet Cool Down

These tactics can help you keep your pets nice and cool in the summer months:

  • Provide water bowls full of fresh, cool water.
  • Do not shave your pet. Animal coats provide protection from sunburn. 
  • Keep your animals well brushed. Clearing excess hair out of their coats lets air circulate through the fur. 
  • Provide an outside, shaded, fresh-water kiddie pool for soaking. 

If you think your dog is overheated, cover your pet in wet towels and call Blue Valley Animal Hospital at (913) 681-2818.