Ask the Emergency Veterinarian: Keeping Your Pets Cool In The Heat

We long to spend those hot summer days with our pets when the weather is warm and the sun is shining; however, too much time outdoors in the sun and the heat can harm your pets. Guardian Veterinary Centre has some handy tips to keep your furry friends safe in the summer heat:

Prevent Overheating


Dogs can easily overheat in the summer months with their thick coats. Here are a few easy methods to protect your pooch:

  • Always keep your dog hydrated and change their water dish frequently throughout the day to keep it cool.
  • Gently hose your dog down, they may not like it but it works!
  • If you are spending some time outside, such as going on a walk, always bring a water bottle to keep your dog hydrated, and take frequent breaks. Also feel free to pour some water on their toe pads as this is a fast way to      cool down a dog.
  • If you live in town or do not have access to water, a cheap method to keep your pets cool is to buy a kiddy pool and fill it with cool water. This is suggested for medium to large dogs that will not drown if left alone, and is a great method for those pet owners that work long hours and can’t be home to watch their dogs on those hot summer days.

Cats can also be susceptible to the dangers of hot weather. Homes heat up very fast on those +30 days and indoor cats need to be protected! A great tip is to put a freezer pack wrapped in a towel in your cat’s bed or underneath it.

For your outdoor cat, they will need plenty of shady spots to escape to during the heat. If you don’t have any trees, consider planting a small garden with some shrubs or taller plants in it, as cats will dig small holes and lay in the shade to keep cool. If you do not have access to any of these options, mounting an umbrella is a great alternative. Always make sure your cats have fresh water and change it frequently.

Coat Weather
It’s easy for any animal with a heavy or light coat to overheat quickly. Consider grooming your pets regularly in the summer months to lighten their coats. This will go a long way in preventing overheating, but don’t get too carried away because they rely on those furry coats to protect their skin from the sun!

Guardian Veterinary Centre provides 24/7 emergency and referral-based specialty veterinary care. They can be reached at or 780-436-5880. They are located at 5620 – 99 Street NW in Edmonton.