It’s August – the perfect month for lounging in the warm sun and spending more time outdoors with your four-legged family member.

But always remember that the summer months can sometimes be uncomfortable and even downright dangerous, for pets. To prevent heat-related issues in your furry companion, follow these simple heat safety tips.

Schedule a Wellness Visit at Westfield Veterinary Group

 Visit the WVG team at either our Westfield or Union location for a summer checkup. Our veterinarians will make sure that your pet doesn’t have any health issues that would limit their time outdoors. We will also ensure that your furry companion is up-to-date on preventative medications for fleas, ticks, and internal parasites.

Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

 A car can overheat even when the window is cracked and/or the air conditioner is running – and shady parking spots offer little protection from the heat and sun. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous – and even fatal – levels. If you plan on running errands during the month of August (or any hot time of the year), please leave your fur baby at home.

Offer Clean, Fresh Water at All Times

Pets can become dehydrated in a short amount of time when it’s hot – or even just humid – outside. Always provide access to cold, fresh water. In extreme heat waves, add ice to water bowls whenever possible.

Provide Ample Shade

You may not be aware of this, but doghouses and other pet structures do not provide heat relief. In fact, they make it worse. Whenever your pet is outdoors, provide a shady, well-ventilated place for them to relax and get out of the sun.

Don’t Let Your Pet Linger on Hot Road Surfaces

When the sun is out and the temperatures are high, paws can burn on hot roads and sidewalks, so allow your pet to walk on grassy surfaces. To test the pavement or road, place the palm of yor hand on the ground. If you cannot hold it there comfortably after 5-10 seconds, then that means it’s also too hot for your pet’s paws!

During extreme heat, walk your pup early in the morning or late in the evening.

Limit Exercise and Time Outdoors on Hot, Humid Days

 Always adjust your pet’s intensity and duration of exercise and time outdoors when it’s warm and/or humid. And remember that pets with short faces – like Pugs and Persian cats – are more susceptible to heatstroke and overheating since they cannot pant effectively.

Never Leave Pets Unattended at the Pool or Beach

It may be hard for some pet parents to believe, but not all dogs are good swimmers. When at the beach or hanging out by the pool, keep an eye on your pooch at all times. And never allow them to drink salt, standing, or chlorinated water.

Know the Signs of Overheating

Extreme temperatures can cause a pet to overheat in a blink of an eye. It’s important for all pet parents to know the signs of overheating. These include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, increased respiratory and heart rate, mild weakness, stupor, seizures, and even collapse.

If your pet does experience a heat-related issue this month, bring them to our 24/7 emergency care team at our Union location as soon as possible. Our experienced veterinarians and support staff are available all day and night, every day of the year to help fur babies in need.