The summer sun can take it's toll on your pet. Dogs and cats don't sweat like people do, they breathe out the heat through moisture in their breath. Some animals are more sensitive to heat stroke than others. Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts.

Pets with a little or no tolerance to sun or heat include:

Older pets, overweight animals, puppies and kittens

Pets with short muzzles like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Pekinese, and Shih Tzu dogs and Persian cats

Animals with respiratory and / or heart problems

Animals with thick fur

If your pet is a short muzzled pet and / or lives mainly indoors DO NOT leave them outdoors unattended for more than 15 minutes in 100 degree temperatures,  they will not survive the heat.

Be sure your pets are well watered and very well shaded. Even if an animal has plenty of shade and water it is a good idea to check on them often an provide relief from the heat as often as possible.

Here are some indicators that your pet may be in trouble:

Rapid breathing

Loud panting


Anxious or vacant expression


If your dog or cat shows ANY OF THESE signs,  get them to a cool and shady area and begin cooling your pet by sponging or wet-toweling off with cool (not cold) water. And by all means call a vet for help and / or advise as soon as the possible.

Here's a short video of a family pet that loves diving, AMAZING!


Do not leave your pet in a parked car on a warm, sunny day. On a 70 degree day, temperatures can reach over 150 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if you leave the windows cracked.

Try not to use air travel with your pets during extreme weather seasons because, on an airplane, if the animal is checked as baggage it will be exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes. Baggage compartment temperatures are regulated during flight, but temperatures soar when the plane is on the ground and remember, many animals have to sit on the searing pavement as they wait to be loaded as baggage.

Never exercise your pet in the heat of the day. Early morning before 7 AM and late evening after 9 PM is best, that's because air and pavement temperatures have cooled. Remember, dog pads are sensitive and can burn on hot asphalt or sand.

Enjoy this short clip of Jack the lab learning how to swim. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.


Make sure pets have a lot of cool and clean water to drink (keep in mind if you won't drink it why should your pet).

Provide outdoor pets with lots of shady places to rest. If it's really hot, think about getting one of those inexpensive hard-plastic shallow kids wading pool and keep it filled with clean water to help pets keep cool.

Do as I just did (and the reason for this blog), give long-haired dogs a haircut in the summer. BE CAREFUL not to cut too close to the skin because animals are susceptible to sunburns.

If left untreated, heat stroke can cause brain damage or even death. Get your pet to a veterinarian for treatment right.

Of course, the best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Have a safe and cool summer.