Summer Safety


  • Research has shown that when ambient temperatures rise above 95°, sealed cars can reach a suffocating 149° in just 15 minutes.
  • Sunlight can heat car interiors to lethal temperatures in just 30 minutes, even if the weather is relatively cool – studies show that cracking a window or running the air conditioning has almost no affect on regulating the internal temperature of a parked car.
  • If left in the sun, a car’s average internal temperature can rise an average of 40° within one hour regardless of ambient temperature.
  • Your dog’s natural temperature is 102°.
  • Your cat’s internal temperature should be between 100.5° and 101.5°.
  • At a 110° external temperature, your pet is in danger of having a heat stroke.

Prevent heat stroke

  • NEVER leave your pet in a parked car.
  • Keep fresh, cool water available at all times.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days. When outside, opt for shady areas.
  • Don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn easily.
  • Keep them indoors when it is extremely hot.
  • Give your dog a lightweight haircut to prevent overheating.
  • Brushing cats more often than usual can help get rid of their undercoat and keep them cooler.
  • Learn the warning signs of heat stroke.

Signs of a heat stroke

  • Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is an emergency)
  • Respiratory distress or hyperventilation (breeds with flat noses may exhibit this earlier because of compromised airways)
  • Dark red gums
  • Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
  • Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
  • Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
  • Thick saliva
  • Dizziness and disorientation

If your pet is exhibiting signs of a heat stroke, follow these steps:

  • Move your pet out of the heat and away from sun immediately.
  • Begin cooling your pet by placing lukewarm to cool wet rags or washcloths on the body – especially the footpads and around the head.
  • Do not use ice or very cold water! Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to rise. Overcooling can cause hypothermia – stop cooling when your pet’s temperature reaches 103°.
  • Seek veterinarian help immediately.