Summer Safety Tips for your Pets

Did you know that on a 73 degree day, the inside of a car can reach temperatures up to 100 degrees in just 15 minutes?

Even when you are parked in the shade with the windows cracked, this can still happen. Pets left in vehicles can suffer heat stroke and death in a short period of time. Never leave your pet alone in the car.
Dog in hot car

Here are some other pet safety tips to remember in warm summer weather:

  • On hot days exercise your pets in early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler.

Dog walk evening

  • Pets may become dehydrated quickly on hot days. Provide plenty of water and a shady place for pets to rest. Keep pets indoors when it is extremely hot. Some symptoms of overheating in pets can include excessive panting, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling and weakness. Animals that have flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke. Pets that are elderly, overweight or with heart or lung diseases should be kept in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.

senior Dog 3FB

  • Sand and asphalt can get very hot and cause serious burns to your pet’s sensitive paws. Keep walks to a minimum when the temperature is high. If it feels hot to the touch, it is too hot for your dog to walk on. Or use the five-second rule: Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog.

hand on asphalt

  • Pets can get sunburns too! Dogs with light colored fur, very short fur or light colored noses are particularly vulnerable. Consider using a pet-safe sunscreen (found in pet stores) on their noses and ear tips. Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet unless it is specifically labeled to be safe for animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products or chemicals in repellents can cause gastric distress, lethargy or neurological problems if exposed to DEET.


  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around pools or bodies of water. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Rinse dogs after swimming and make sure they do not drink from chlorinated pools.


  • Consider leaving your pet at home when going to a crowded place or party. Food and drinks offered to pets by guests as a treat could cause gastric distress. Remember to avoid feeding your pets any alcohol, chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions and any product containing xylitol. All of these can be toxic to your pet.

dog stealing food picnic bbq

  • Make sure unscreened windows and doors on upper floors remain closed, and that all adjustable screens are tightly secured. This can prevent injury from falls.

Dog window ledge
Photo by James Morgan

  • Do not shave your pet! Your pets’ fur coat acts as insulation and can provide them with heat relief. Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. This is true for cats as well. Their fur also protects their skin from burning and helps protect against skin cancer.

Shaved dog

  • If you take your dog boating, make sure they have a well-fitted canine life vest.

With a few precautions like these, you can help keep your pet safe while still enjoying the summer weather!


About Bothell Pet Hospital

Since 1954, Bothell Pet Hospital has been operating as an independent small animal hospital, providing primary veterinary care to cats and dogs in Bothell, Lake City, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Woodinville, Mill Creek, Kirkland, Brier, and other surrounding neighborhoods.
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