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  • Writer's picturekirsten kruska

Essential Summer Safety Tips for Keeping Your Pets Cool and Comfortable

Summer is Here! How to Ensure Safe Outdoor Activities for Your Pets in the Heat

As the summer sun starts to blaze, it's essential to make sure our pets stay cool and safe during outdoor activities. The heat can be especially harsh on our furry friends, and without proper precautions, they can suffer from heat-related illnesses or injuries. Here’s an in-depth guide to ensuring your pets enjoy a safe and comfortable summer.

1. Early Morning or Late Evening Walks

Why Timing Matters: The temperatures are generally lower during the early morning and late evening, making it a more comfortable time for pets to be outdoors. The sun is less intense, reducing the risk of overheating and paw pad burns.

Tips for Cooler Walks:

  • Plan Your Walks: Schedule walks before 10 AM or after 6 PM when the temperatures are cooler.

  • Keep It Short: In extreme heat, keep walks brief to avoid overexertion.

  • Watch for Humidity: High humidity can also make it harder for pets to cool down, so factor this into your timing.

2. Hydration is Key

Importance of Hydration: Just like humans, pets need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in the heat. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues, including heat stroke.

Hydration Tips:

  • Carry Water: Always bring a portable pet water bottle or collapsible bowl.

  • Frequent Breaks: Offer water breaks every 15-20 minutes during outdoor activities.

  • Fresh Water at Home: Ensure there’s always fresh, cool water available at home.

3. Check the Ground Temperature

The 7-Second Rule: Before heading out, place your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.

Why It Matters: Pavement, asphalt, and sand can reach extreme temperatures under the summer sun, causing painful burns and blisters on your pet's paw pads.

Alternatives and Solutions:

  • Opt for Grassy Areas: Grass remains cooler than pavement, providing a safer surface for your pet.

  • Pet Shoes: If walking on hot surfaces is unavoidable, invest in pet shoes or booties. These protect your pet’s paws from burns and injuries.

  • Shade is Your Friend: Plan your route to include shaded areas to give your pet frequent breaks from direct sunlight.

4. Provide Shade and Rest

Finding Shade: Ensure your pet has access to shade, whether you’re at home or on the go. Shade helps prevent overheating and provides a cool spot to rest.

Portable Shade Options:

  • Pet Tents: Lightweight and easy to set up, pet tents offer portable shade.

  • Umbrellas: Pet umbrellas can provide on-the-go shade during walks or outings.

Rest Periods: Encourage your pet to rest frequently in shaded areas to cool down. This is especially important during and after exercise.

5. Know the Signs of Heat Stress

Recognizing Heat Stress: It’s vital to recognize the early signs of heat stress to prevent heat stroke, which can be fatal.

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Excessive Panting: Rapid, heavy panting is a primary sign of overheating.

  • Drooling: Increased drooling can indicate your pet is too hot.

  • Lethargy: If your pet seems unusually tired or weak, it might be suffering from heat stress.

  • Difficulty Breathing: Labored breathing is a serious sign that your pet needs immediate cooling and hydration.

Immediate Actions:

  • Move to Shade: Get your pet out of direct sunlight immediately.

  • Hydrate: Offer cool water to drink, but don’t force it.

  • Cool Down: Use a damp cloth to cool your pet’s body, focusing on the head, neck, and chest.

6. Limit Strenuous Activities

Adjusting Activity Levels: High temperatures mean you need to scale back on intense activities. Overexertion can quickly lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Activity Tips:

  • Gentle Walks: Opt for leisurely strolls rather than vigorous exercise.

  • Indoor Play: On extremely hot days, engage in indoor playtime with toys or games.

  • Cool Activities: If your pet enjoys water, consider activities like swimming or playing in a sprinkler to help them stay cool.

7. Use Cooling Products

Cooling Gear: Various products are available to help keep your pet cool during hot weather.

Recommended Products:

  • Cooling Vests: These are soaked in water and provide a cooling effect as the water evaporates.

  • Cooling Mats: Specially designed mats that remain cool for pets to lie on.

  • Cooling Bandanas: Soaked in water and tied around your pet’s neck, these help reduce body temperature.

8. Never Leave Pets in Cars

Danger of Hot Cars: Temperatures inside a parked car can rise rapidly, even with the windows cracked. This can quickly become life-threatening for your pet.


  • Leave Pets at Home: If possible, leave your pet at home where it’s cool and safe.

  • Bring Your Pet Along: If you must travel with your pet, take them with you whenever you leave the car.


By following these guidelines, you can ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable throughout the summer. Always prioritize their well-being by adjusting outdoor activities, providing ample hydration, and using cooling products when necessary. Remember, a little extra care can go a long way in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy during the hot months.

Stay cool, and have fun!!

For more pet care tips and advice, follow us on social media and visit our blog regularly. Have any questions or need personalized advice? Contact us at Pet & Plant Pal – we’re here to help! 🐶🌿

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