One of the common threats to a pet’s health is warm weather. Here in California this is something we have to take into consideration year round, but particularly in the summer months. Our pets have a natural fur coat on, which means they are more prone to overheating compared to us as people. By keeping this in mind, you can make sure that your pet is comfortable and does not suffer from heat related injuries or illnesses. Three of the most common issues arising from warm weather:
Heat Stroke from leaving your pet in the car – Even in a short amount of time, your car can become exceedingly warm. Even if you crack a window, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes. Please DO NOT leave your pet in your car, even if for a short time. Below is a table outlining the interior temperatures of a vehicle compared to outside temperatures.
Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
Outside Air Temperature (F)
Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University
Heat Stroke from exercise/playing – Does Fido love to play ball? Does Fido continue chasing the ball for hours because that is his/her favorite thing in the world? Well during warm weather, there are times where they will overdo it. By the time, they are over-heated, it is hard to get rid of all of that excess heat. Did you know panting is the only way a dog can decrease their internal body temperature? Well, when they become overheated, they have to pant that heat off and when it’s too much they just can’t pant enough. Also, if you have a flat-faced breed (for ex. English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, or Boston Terriers) they have respiratory issues as a breed. That means it is even more important that you limit exercise during warm weather as they will overheat far easier than other breeds! Be cautious with your beloved pets and monitor their exercise levels during warmer weather months!
Burns from the pavement – concrete and pavement will become very hot during periods of warm weather. We as people don’t tend to notice because we wear shoes. However, our precious pups and kitties do not have shoes. It is very easy for them to sustain substantial burns to their paw pads when walking on hot pavement/sidewalks. These burns can results in full blisters of their pads. So when walking Fido or Fluffy during warm weather, perhaps walk earlier in the morning or later in the evening in order to avoid the blistering surfaces of the asphalt or concrete!