Tips from the ASPCA to keep your pets safe during extreme heat

ByBrianne Hailey Killeen WABC logo
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Tips to keep your pets safe during extreme heat
The ASPCA has tips to keep our furry friends protected from the extreme heat.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Scientists have already determined that July is the warmest month on record, so it's important to keep cool and stay safe from the heat.

However, humans aren't the only ones that need to focus on safety. Pets need to be kept safe, too.

The ASPCA has a list of tips to protect pets from extreme heat as well as other summertime dangers.

Limit walks: Walks should be limited when the temperature outside is very hot. Since pets are so close to the ground, it becomes easier for their bodies to overheat from the hot temperature of the asphalt. Along with this, dogs' feet should be protected during walks on the hot asphalt, as their paws are prone to burns.

Find shade: Pets should also have a shady place that is out of the sun to cool down and should not be over-exercised in the extreme heat.

Stay hydrated: Pets are prone to dehydration, so fresh water should always be accessible for them. Water should be kept in a plastic bowl, as metal bowls can overheat in the sun.

Supervise swimming: Bringing pets into the pool may seem like a good idea to cool them off, but they should be supervised at all times. They should not drink pool water and they should be rinsed after swimming to wash away any chlorine or salt. Introducing pets to water should be done slowly and safely.

Trim hair: Pets can be trimmed of long hair but should not be completely shaved in the summer heat. Their coats prevent overheating and sunburn.

Sunscreen safety: Sunscreen and bug spray can be used on pets as long as the products are labeled for animal use. On the other hand, pets should be kept away from other rodenticides and insecticides. If not monitored properly, ingestion of these lawn and garden products can be unsafe for pets.

Window screens: Summer is a good time to keep the windows open for air circulation. Open windows and doors should be screened with pets in the home. Open unscreened windows are dangerous as pets can fall out of them.

Vehicle safety: Pets should not be left alone in the car, especially during extreme heat. This poses fatal health risks, including heat strokes. Leaving pets alone in parked vehicles is actually illegal across various states. To report an animal trapped in a car, call 911 and stay by the vehicle until help arrives.

The ASPCA advises that pet owners know what overheating looks like in pets. Symptoms include but are not limited to excessive panting, increased heart rate, drooling and weakness. If a pet is suspected to be sick from the extreme heat, call a local veterinarian.

For more details and tips, please visit


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