With summer just around the corner, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to protect your furry companions from rising temperatures. That’s why our team of dedicated veterinarians at West Delray Veterinary has compiled a list of six invaluable tips to help you beat the heat this summer. From keeping your pets hydrated to providing them with a safe outdoor environment, we’ve got the expert advice you need to ensure your four-legged friends stay cool, comfortable, and healthy during the hottest months of the year. So, let’s dive in and discover how to make this summer a safe and enjoyable season for both you and your beloved pets!

1. Steer clear of long walks or excessive outdoor play in the middle of the day
Dr. Jonathan Block cautions against taking your pet’s out during the hottest hours of the day. The hottest hours of the day in summer typically occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this time, the sun is at its peak, and the temperature tends to be the highest. It’s advisable to avoid taking your pets out for extended periods during these hours to minimize their exposure to excessive heat. Consider longer walks before dawn or after dusk to ensure your pets stay cool and comfortable!

2. Avoid leaving your pets in a hot car
Dr. Karen Bregman states, “As much as we love bringing our furry friends along for the ride, please leave them at home and not in the car when the temperatures are high.” The heat in a car can accumulate very quickly and become dangerous. The chart to the right shows how high the temperatures can rise in a car, even when we think it’ll be cool.

3. Don’t let your dog drink excessive amounts of water in the summer heat
Dr. Stephanie Magram brings attention to a lesser-known danger, water toxicity. “While rare, it is possible they can get water toxicity which can present with neurologic signs and can be very dangerous”, warns Dr. Magram. It is important to bring your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect this. It is still important to allow access to fresh, room-temperature water but to ensure they do not drink in extreme excess. It is also important to monitor your pets to ensure they do not drink excessive amounts of salt water (when/if at the beach).

4. Keep your pet away from hot asphalt or hot walking surfaces
As Dr. Dana Sherman states, “Walking your pets on hot asphalt can burn their paw pads.” Asphalt absorbs and retains heat, making it significantly hotter than the surrounding air. Pets’ paws are sensitive and can easily get injured when exposed to this extreme heat. Additionally, prolonged contact with hot surfaces causes discomfort and stress for your furry companions, making it difficult for them to enjoy their walks. To protect your pets, it is important to walk them on grass or in shaded areas, use protective booties, or schedule their walks during cooler times of the day to prevent potential paw pad injuries and ensure their comfort during outdoor activities.

5. Ensure your pet stays hydrated
Just like humans, pets can become dehydrated quickly in hot weather. The higher temperatures, increased activity levels, and potential exposure to the sun can lead to excessive water loss through panting. Dr. Jodi Weiser suggests, “always keep a fresh source of water handy when out walking.” A practical tip for carrying a fresh source of water on walks with your pets in the heat is to bring a portable water bottle or a collapsible water bowl. These compact and lightweight accessories are convenient for providing your pet with hydration whenever needed.

6. Be informed on which breeds are more at risk of heatstroke
Dr. Thomas cautions, “Breeds that have shortened faces such as pugs, French bulldogs, and English bulldogs, are at an increased risk of overheating.” These breeds, known as brachycephalic breeds, have respiratory systems that are compromised due to their unique facial structure. Their shortened airways make it more difficult for them to regulate body temperature efficiently, making them more susceptible to heat-related issues. It is important for owners of these breeds to be extra cautious in hot weather and provide adequate cooling measures to ensure their pets’ well-being.

If you are located in the Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, or Boca Raton area and are interested in scheduling an appointment for your fur baby with one of our AMAZING veterinarians, please feel free to contact the team at West Delray Veterinary at 561-777-7173 or visit our website at www.westdelrayvet.com.