Preventative Care@3x

Summer Safety

May 28, 2013 | Arizona Pet Health


With soaring Sonoran temperatures upon us, it’s time to think about pet safety. Here are a few simple steps to help you and your pet stay cool this summer.

Check their Records
Summer safety starts with making sure your pet is up-to-date on all their recommended vaccinations and that you are regularly administering preventative heartworm, flea and tick protection, and any other veterinary-prescribed medications. Need help remembering when it’s time for their next pill? Visit for free e-mail and text reminder services and smartphone apps.

Avoid Overheating
The biggest warm weather risk is heat stroke, especially in dogs. Proper planning and prevention are key to eliminating the deadly risks of overheating. First, get your daily walks in first thing in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures aren’t quite as high.

Secondly, make sure you provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet. Remember to keep your car stocked with extra water and a bowl if you and your pet travel together. If you’re an avid walker, hiker, or camper, Guardian Gear makes a portable handheld water bottle dispenser that snaps on your belt—a great option for on-the-go hydration.

Lastly, never, ever leave your pet in the car—even for a minute. The enclosed area can cause temperatures to quickly spike to dangerous levels.

It doesn’t take long for heat stroke to affect your pet so be diligent about keeping them cool throughout these warmer months. Early signs of heat stroke may include restlessness, agitation, and unusual whining and meowing or barking. As their body temperature continues to rise, you may observe heavy panting, lethargy, bright red gums, and excessive drooling. If your pet is showing any of these signs, seek veterinary treatment right away.

Concrete Cautions
Walking across hot pavement can quickly burn your pet’s sensitive little paws. Stick to grassy areas or invest in protective footwear to keep them cool. If you want your pet to be stepping out in style, check out the trendy Converse-style shoes by Barko Booties or the Neopaws orthopedic water and hiking shoes.

Get them Groomed
Pets with thick, long hair will appreciate a new, shorter look for the summer. Visit your groomer for a style that will help them stay comfortable on even the hottest days.

Slather the Sunscreen
The same advice that applies to you goes for your pet: keep out of direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. If you do venture out during peak hours, make sure you bring the sunscreen! Pets who are shaved or who have areas with little or no fur coverage benefit from using sunscreen. Just make sure to select one specially formulated for pets and avoid any product with zinc oxide. You may also want to check into fun accessories like hats and even sunglasses made for your dog or cat.

Stick to these tips to stay cool, safe, and sunburn-free and make this summer a breeze for both you and your pet!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.