Hot Weather Safety Tips for Dog Owners
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Oh, my aching muscles...

The Humane Society for Seattle/King County has compiled a list of pet safety tips to help ensure that our community’s companion animals are protected from hazards unique to the summer months. Even when the sun’s not out, summer brings hot weather and family vacations. Your dogs will be affected by both so for a healthier, happier summer for you and your canine, we encourage you to follow these tips:

Parked Cars

Never leave your dog in a parked car, even if the windows are open. In ten minutes or less the temperature inside the car can reach dangerously high temperatures causing heat stroke, permanent brain damage or death. 

It’s safer and kinder to leave your dog at home with plenty of fresh, cool water and shade.

Signs of Heatstroke

Excessive panting



An anxious or staring expression

A fast pulse rate and high body temperature

Heatstroke solutions

Immediately immerse your animal in cool (not icy) water or pour cool water over him. You can also put an ice pack on your animal’s head.  Take your dog to your veterinarian or the nearest animal emergency clinic for medical treatment.

Jog only during cooler hours

Dogs need exercise, but it is best if you take them in the cooler early morning or evening hours. And keep in mind that the pavement gets very hot and can burn your their paw pads.

Water...drinking and playing

Provide outside dogs with cool drinking water and access to a fully shaded area. When away from home, carry water for your dog and give him small amounts frequently.

Dogs may become less tolerant of  excessive handling when they are hot, and parents should let children know that their pet may not want to play.

Pets and pools

Do not allow your dog around a pool unless he is supervised. Many dogs accidentally drown each year across the country.

Fleas & ticks

Check your dog regularly for fleas and ticks, which are more common in hot weather. Use a flea/tick preventative recommended by your veterinarian.

Garden hazards

Plant food, fertilizers and pesticides are more widely used in summer.  Use only pet-safe products and keep your dogs on your property so they will not be exposed to harmful products that neighbors have used.

Keep your veterinarian’s phone number handy so you can call immediately if you suspect your dog or cat has ingested something poisonous, or call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Poison Hotline at 888-426-4435.  There is a $45 per case charge and you should be prepared to provide them with information about your pet’s breed, size, age and his symptoms.

Heartworm disease

Heartworm is a potentially deadly but preventable parasite that is spread by mosquitoes. Check with your veterinarian to see if your dog should be on a heartworm preventative.


Protect all your pets from the noise and flash of fireworks. It frightens animals and many get lost each July 4. Bring your pets inside and make sure they are wearing identification.

 If you have an extremely excitable animal, check with your veterinarian before the holiday about tranquilizers. Human tranquilizers are dangerous for animals.

Street fairs and festivals

It is recommended that you enjoy the fair and leave your dog safely at home, away from the crowds and noise.

Summer and all year long

Keep current identification on your pet. No one plans for their dog or cat to become lost, but accidents do happen. Your pet’s ID tags or microchip ID are the best way to ensure that your companion animal will be safely returned to you.



Leave the pooch at home when running errands in warm or sunny weather.

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