Sunny days are coming and it’s time to put on your flip flops and hit the beach! Heat and pets, however, don’t always mix. Here are 7 simple steps you can take to keep cats and dogs safe in the hot weather:

1 – Leave Pets At Home

Your pets don’t want to wait in the car while you run errands – they’d rather be at home in the cool air conditioning! The inside of your car can reach upwards of 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside in just a few minutes. Cracked windows and shade from trees do not provide enough relief and your pet is at risk from suffering a fatal heat stroke. When it comes to pets, staying at home is best!


2 – Provide Lots of Water

Your dog and cat will need some extra hydration when the weather warms up. Make sure to fill that water dish and keep it full! If you are taking your pet on an outdoor adventure, bring water and a portable container with you. Ocean, lake or river water contains bacteria and other contaminates that can harm your pet – it’s best to bring a supply from home instead! Providing extra water can be fun, too. Try our 3-Step DIY Pupsicle to keep your pooch happy and cool.




3 – Keep Coats Long

You might be tempted to give your pet a buzz cut in the summer months. A short trim is fine, but shaving your pet can result in sunburn and bug bites. Brushing your dog or cat can help to remove excess fur and keep them feeling fine in the summertime.


4 – Avoid Pavement When Possible

Of course, your dog will still need to go for walks each day, but keep them shorter during the hotter times of day. Don’t let your pet linger on hot pavement or asphalt – that can lead to burns on the pads of paws. Ouch!


5 – Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix

Fireworks are a lot of fun … for humans. Loud noises and bright lights can scare many pets, leaving them lost and disoriented. Find an escape-proof room in your house for your dog or cat during firework displays, and enjoy the Fourth of July with your favorite people, not your pets!

6 – Don’t Skip Flea & Heartworm Prevention

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes thrive in the warm weather. To be safe, it’s best to keep your pets on heartworm prevention year round. Heartworms are a preventable, but left untreated, they are fatal. The Jacksonville Humane Society Animal Hospital can provide you with affordable options to protect your pets. Click here for more information.


7 – Know When to Act

Keeping your pets cool in the summer time is the best way to avoid heat stroke, which can be fatal. It’s important to pet owners to know the signs, which include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. If you see these signs in your pet, immediately contact a veterinarian.


Take these simple steps to keep your dog or cat safe in the hot summer months ahead! And don’t forget, if you’re looking to add a new family member this summer, the Jacksonville Humane Society is open 7 days a week for pet adoptions.


Read More About Summer Safety and Pets:

ASPCA Hot Weather Tips

Petfinder.com Summer Pet Safety