Dog Days: Pet Heat Safety Tips for the Summer

Temperatures are quickly rising, but before we dive into those quintessential summer activities (road trips, beach vacations, hiking, pool days, boating etc.), let’s not forget about our favorite four-legged friends! Especially given how susceptible they are to the heat.

Summer_hot car

Trupanion, a pet medical insurance provider sees 85% of its heat-related claims occur between May and September.  The two most common heat-related claims–heat stroke and dehydration typically cost an average of $2,300 and $580 to treat, respectively.

Summer Heat Safety Tips

  • Cars Are Not Pet-Friendly – The inside of a car, especially on a hot day is typically 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the temperature outside (see infographic below). That number goes up if you park in direct sunlight and/or leave the windows rolled up. If you’re not sure if you can take your pet into your destination with you, it is safer to leave the pet at home in a safe and cool space than to hope he’ll be okay in the car.
  • Sun Burns – You may not realize it, but even dogs can get sun burns. Their noses, bellies, and areas with particularly thinner fur are susceptible to the sun’s hot rays so it’s important to protect your pooch. Provide shade with a beach umbrella and consider dog-friendly sunscreen. Sunscreen made for humans can actually make your pet sick if they lick it off.
  • Salt Water – Your pup may be inclined to lap up the salty ocean water if he’s thirsty, but the salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick. Prevent your dog from drinking salt water by providing plenty of fresh water. It’s also important not to let the salt water dry on their fur since it can irritate their skin. Be sure to rinse off with fresh water when they’re done swimming.
  • Hot Sand/Sidewalk – If the sand or paved walkway is too hot for you to walk barefoot, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads. Protect your pet’s paws by only walking him in the morning and late evening, avoiding the hottest part of the day. When venturing out during the peak heat, opt for grass and dirt surfaces.
  • Heatstroke Symptoms – Heavy panting and bright red tongue, weakness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, vomiting. The saliva will be thick and sticky due to dehydration. When shock sets in, the pet may experience seizures and collapse which can be fatal. Seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Pet Medical Insurance: Investing in pet medical insurance, like what Trupanion offers, provides you with peace of mind if your pet gets into trouble with any of the previously listed incidents. It allows you to focus on providing the best care possible for your pet instead of the financial aspect since Trupanion covers 90% of the bill.