Make Sure Your Pet Has Safe Fun In The Sun This Season

The official start to the summer is upon us and this “fun in the sun” season also happens to bring with it some hazards – especially for our pets. To make sure your pet’s summer season is as fun and safe as possible, North Shore Animal League America would like to share some important Pet Summer Safety Tips:

Never leave your pet in a car! Parking in the shade and leaving the windows open is not an option. In a hot car, your pet’s temperature can rise rapidly. It only takes minutes to reach dangerous levels leading to heatstroke and even death.

Always make sure your pet has cool, clean water available. Dogs, and even cats, drink more on hot days, and water warms up quickly.

Do not force your dog into the water if he/she is frightened. Some dogs do not like to swim. If your dog likes to swim, do not leave him/her unattended. Bathe your dog afterwards to remove all sand, mud, and chlorine. Also, be sure all pool chemicals are stored safely out of reach.

Do not allow your dog to hang out of the window of a moving car. Objects such as rocks or tree limbs could seriously injure your pet, or he/she might fall or jump out.

Do not allow your animals to ride in the back of a pick-up truck. They could be thrown out, or they may jump out.

Take your pets inside if there is the possibility of a thunderstorm. Loud thunder may frighten them, or lightening could strike them.

Do not walk your dog near fireworks. Besides the obvious danger, the loud noise can be very scary. 

Have your dog checked for heartworm, and administer a heartworm preventative.

Check your pet daily for fleas and ricks. Talk to a veterinarian about preventing these insects from infesting your pet.

If your pet likes to relax in the shade of a yard or deck, watch out for yellow jackets, bees, toads, and snakes. Bite or sting symptoms are usually swelling of the face or affected areas. Once stunk or bitten, the pet’s skin may start to look wrinkly or bumpy. This is a first indicator and, if not treated by a veterinarian, could result in death due to toxins taking over and shutting down the animal’s body or causing air way swelling and suffocation.

Know the signs of heat stress. In these warm summer months it is best to be aware of the signs of heat stress by exposure to extreme temperatures. Check the animal for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.

If Your Pet Is Overheating

1.    Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
2.    Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest or immerse him in cool (not cold) water.
3.    Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
4.    Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.

For more information on pet safety and care, or adopting a shelter animal, visit

The Animal League has saved more than 1,000,000 lives.  As the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, we understand that a rescue isn’t complete until each animal is placed into a loving home.  Our innovative programs provide education to reduce animal cruelty and advance standards in animal welfare.  Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly in the pursuit of our vision of a world where all companion animals find permanent homes to end euthanasia. For more information, visit