Summer Pet Safety in San Antonio & Beyond

Dog outside with stick in mouth.

San Antonio’s is well known for our hot, humid summers. While many of us love the hot temps (and others loathe them), we must remember summer pet safety. By establishing summer pet safety guidelines, you can keep your pets safe from the heat without sacrificing seasonal fun.

Start at the Beginning

A good rule of thumb about summer pet safety is to consider how the heat and humidity affects you. If the temperature of the ground is too hot for your bare feet or open palms, it is definitely too hot for your pet’s paw pads. Exposure to sizzling concrete, asphalt, or gravel can result in painful cuts, abrasions, blisters, and burns. 

You can prevent injury to their feet by installing shade in the backyard, hosing down the ground, and providing a shallow pool for them. However, please try to limit their walks or exercise times to the hours around dawn and dusk.

Hydration Station

A common, preventable threat to summer pet safety is dehydration. Water bowls should be placed all over the house and property, re-filled throughout the day, and washed to reduce bacteria growth. Our pets always appreciate cool, fresh water, and it is crucial throughout summer. If possible, measure how much water you provide and compare it to how much they take in on a daily basis. 

Your pet needs an average of one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. If they are working or exercising, pets might need double or triple the minimum. Be sure to remind them throughout the day to drink more water, and watch how often they need to go to the bathroom.

Signs of Heat Stroke

Some pets are considered high risk for heat stroke. Pets that are overweight/obese, brachycephalic breeds, thick-coated pets or those with dark fur, senior pets, puppies/kittens, and animals with heart, lung, or respiratory diseases should be carefully monitored. 

That said, all animals are highly vulnerable to extreme heat, low ventilation, and dehydration. The first signs of heatstroke may include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Racing heart beat
  • Red gums
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If not caught and treated, the condition can become worse. Lethargy, weakness, and seizures are common signs of advanced heat stroke. 

Take a pet to a well-ventilated, shady, or cool indoor place. Don’t force them to drink, but urge them to swallow small amounts of cool water. You don’t want to bring their internal temperature down too quickly. Apply a moist towel to their back, abdomen, chest, and groin to bring them to safety. 

Heat stroke is a pet emergency and can result in lasting damage. Please act quickly and contact us for help.

Summer Pet Safety

Parked vehicles, even in the shade, can become deadly to pets trapped inside. Even within a matter of minutes, and on a relatively comfortable day, air temperatures inside a parked car can skyrocket to 100-degrees or more. 

If you plan on swimming with your pet, provide them with a snug-fitting life jacket. There are also pet-safe sunscreen products designed to protect the sensitive skin around the nose and ears.

Lastly, please be sure that your pet’s vaccinations and parasite prevention medication are all up to date. 

If you have additional concerns about summer pet safety in and around San Antonio, feel free to call us at (210) 696-1700.