When it is hot and humid outside we need to take some extra precautions for our pets so that our pets don't suffer the severe effects of heat exhaustion this summer.

Here are some tips from the Oakville & Milton Humane Society to keep your pets safe during hot weather: 

  • Don't leave pets outside unattended.  Keep them inside where there is air conditioning or use fans to move the air.
  • Make sure they have access to fresh cool drinking water at all times.
  • Get yourself a baby pool with a couple of inches of water in it and teach your dog to get in and lie down in the water. Giving your dog access to the sprinkler might also work if she is comfortable with the water spraying. Be careful with this option as some dogs like to attack the sprinkler
  • Dampen your dog's coat before going out for your walk. The evaporation of the water has a cooling effect.  
  • Walk your dog in the early morning and later evening so that they are not in direct sun and walking on hot pavement. Keep the walks shorter. If the dog really doesn't seem enthusiastic about walking, just let her relieve herself and return home.
  • Take water along on your walk.
  • Pick shady areas to walk in. The forest trails are lovely and definitely cooler to walk in for both the human and the dog. Remember to keep your dog on leash at all times.
  • Try to walk on grass rather than concrete or pavement
  • Avoid going to the dog park when it is hot out.  Your dog may have so much fun playing that she gets overheated.
  • Don't bike, jog or play ball or Frisbee – make exercise less intensive and take lots of breaks.
  • Don'ttake your pet in the car and leave them for any reason.  Temperatures reach excessive levels within minutes and your pet could die.
  • For dogs and cats that like to lie in sun patches, check on them regularly as they may overheat before you realize there is a problem.

What to watch for:

  • Excessive panting – fast and rapid
  • The tongue may be a much brighter red than normal or have a bluish hue
  • Slower than normal to respond to her name or a command
  • Seems more distracted or disengaged than normal
  • Glazed eyes
  • Excessive drooling
  • Seems unsteady on her feet
  • Increased body temperature
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Anything that strikes you as abnormal for your dog

Who is most at risk?

  • Overweight animals
  • Animals with health issues – especially those with breathing difficulties or heart issues
  • Heavy coated animals
  • Working animals
  • Overactive breeds 
  • The very young and the very old
  • Dogs that are brachiocephalic or have very short muzzles like English Bulldogs,Pugs, Mastiffs and the bully breeds.

What to do if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Get the pet into a cool area as quickly as possible to lower the body temperature. 
  • Don't plunge them into cold water – Call your vet to get medical advice