Don’t Forget Your Pets: How to Keep Them Cool in Hot Weather

With very warm temperatures predicted this week, it’s important to remember that pets are especially at risk when temperatures rise.

“Even when it’s not that hot, it’s so hot in the car. Even just sitting in there because it’s like a globe. And then sometimes I’ll run into the store to grab something really quick and then I come back and he’s already panting,” said Seattle dog owner Jenny Mounivong.

Mounivong’s dog, Arthur Franklin-Fuji, will not be spending time alone in a car this week.

The hottest temperatures of summer are on the way. That means pet owners are looking for tricks to help their furry friends stay cool.

Seattle-based pet insurance company Trupanion said it expects a more than 333% increase in heatstroke-related claims during the summer months.

Trupanion vets say heatstroke is an emergency condition. If you suspect your pet is suffering from it, they advise you to move your pet to a cooler area and call your veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms include:

  • Panting or drooling excessively
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • dark red erasers
  • glazed eyes
  • rapid heartbeat

Vets also say that if you go to a dog park, pick the cooler times of the day.

“He likes his walks but hates the heat, so we try to get there early,” Mounivong said.

Vets say that when temperatures rise, it’s best to limit your pet’s time outside, but never leave him unattended in the car, even with a cracked window.

Studies show that when it’s 85 degrees outside, your car can heat up to 120 degrees inside.

“Even when the outside temperature is a comfortable 70 degrees, a car’s interior can reach 100 degrees in just 30 minutes,” Trupanion said.

King County law enforcement doesn’t mince words when it comes to leaving dogs in burning cars.

Vets are also reminding owners to stay in the shade when walking their dog, as pavement and sidewalks can heat up quickly on a hot day. Try walking your dog in the grass or playing in the shade.

You can also protect the paws of animals with dog booties, if they tolerate shoes.

Vets also said to consider having room temperature water with you at all times for your dog.

A pet cooling vest can be an option, as well as keeping a portable misting fan with you when you’re on the go with your dog.