Warm Weather Tips for Pets

When the weather is warm, many people like to get outside and enjoy the sunshine with family and friends. If you have a pet, however, you will also need to take some special precautions to help them beat the heat. When the temperature starts to climb, use these tips to help keep your pet safe and cool. It's all part of being a responsible pet owner!

Keep them at home 

It can be tempting to take your pet with you when you go for a drive or need to run a few errands, but a vehicle can quickly become an oven when parked in the sun and keeping the windows open or parking in the shade doesn't offer any relief. Pets don't sweat like humans and can quickly over heat when left in a parked vehicle, resulting in severe sickness or even death. The safest option for your pets is to leave them at home or, if you must travel with an animal, bring someone else along for the ride who can stay with your pet and the vehicle.

Exercise with caution

Plan to walk your dog in the earlier or later hours of the day when the temperature is cooler. You may also want to decrease the intensity of the walk. Keep in mind that dogs with shorter faces, like Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers, require extra care when it's hot outside as they don't pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs.

Take care when walking your dog outside on asphalt. The sun can quickly heat up the surface, making it too hot for your dog's sensitive paw pads. Before you head out, check the temperature of the asphalt with your hand - if it's too hot for your skin, it's too hot for your dog's feet. Keep walks brief, stick to grassed areas or consider dog booties to help protect those tender tootsies.

Always make sure your pets have plenty of access to fresh drinking water. Keep their dishes at home full and if you head out for a walk, be sure to bring along water for both you and your pet.

Staying cool

Consider giving your dog a summer haircut to help keep it cool, but don't go too short! Your pup still needs some coverage to help protect its skin from the sun. Taking your dog to a professional groomer will help ensure it gets the right haircut for the season.

Summertime also means the arrival of pesky bugs that can bite both you and your pets. If your animals spend time outdoors, consider purchasing an insect repellent product that is safe and specifically labelled for use on pets.

Water safety

Heading to the lake or jumping in a pool can be a fun way to beat the heat, but never leave your pet unsupervised around water as they are not all good swimmers. Gradually introduce your pet to water and if you're on a boat, make sure your dog is wearing a proper flotation device.

If you see an animal in distress due to the heat, please contact Animal Control (Enforcement Services).