Here's how to keep your pets safe during the dog days of summer

Susan Richard
July 20, 2019 - 5:00 am

(Photo licensed by Susan Richard through 123RF ID# 41039304_s Credit: damedeeso)

NEW YORK (1010WINS) The dog days of summer can be dangerous for your dog.  Or cat for that matter, so 1010 WINS got the scoop from Dr. Audrey Tinman, DVM at BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital's midtown Manhattan location on how to protect your pets in the hot summer months.


If it’s too hot for you, imagine how your dog feels.  Their fur is the human equivalent of wearing a sweater and that can leave them susceptible to heatstroke, which occurs when a dog’s body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate, either through exercise or exposure. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately upon the recognition of symptoms.  Signs include excessive panting, profuse salivation, glazed eyes or staring, anxiousness or restlessness, bright red or purple gums and tongue, confusion, trouble standing or walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, collapse.

Hear what Dr. Tinsman has to say about preventing heatstroke in this All For Animals TV Quick Tip with 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard:

To prevent pet heatstroke, Dr. Tinsman recommends the following:

  • Don’t exercise your pet in the middle of the day. Walk your dog in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest hours of the day, if possible.
  • Keep pets inside on hot days. Even if your yard has shady areas, temperatures can shift throughout the day.
  • Always have water available.
  • Keep pets well groomed. This helps their fur do what it is intended to do—protect from sun and insulate from heat. If the coat is matted and tangled the fur may actually trap heat.
  • Limit activity and maintain pets at a healthy weight.
  • Keep walks at a gentle pace and if your pet seems tired, rest or stop the activity.
  • If you suspect your dog is having a heatstroke, soak your pet’s body with towels and water, and put them in front of fan if possible; then bring to them to your veterinarian hospital immediatel

Paw Protection:

Your pet’s paws, just like human hands and feet are just skin.  So, imagine walking barefoot on the hot city concrete in the summer.  That’s exactly what your dog is doing. Also, be aware, if your dog swims a lot, their paw pads are at a greater risk of burning as water softens paw pads, making them more prone to burning or cracking.  

Hear what Dr. Tinsman has to say about protecting your pet's paws in this All For Animals TV Quick Tip with 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard:

To prevent burns, which often don’t become visible until it’s too late, Dr. Tinsman recommends the following:

  • Walk your dog early in the morning and evening when it’s cooler out (as opposed to midday).
  • Try to stay on grassy areas if possible.
  • If your dog looks uncomfortable, move to the shade and cool down the paws with water.
  • Examine your dog’s paws regularly.  If you see any sign of injury, see a Veterinarian immediately.

Wear Sunscreen:

It may seem odd to think that you may need to apply sunscreen.  I mean, doesn’t their fur protect them from sunburn?  Yes and no.  Areas like the nose and ears can get easily burned, as can other parts of the body left exposed from a summertime grooming.  In addition, just like in humans, excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, particularly in light colored dogs and cats.

Hear what Dr. Tinsman has to say about pets and sunscreen in this All For Animals TV Quick Tip with 1010 WINS’ Susan Richard:

No hot cars!

It's crazy that we need to remind folks, but never leave your pet in a car without the A/C on.  Not even for a few minutes.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open. The NYPD tells 1010 WINS, if you see either a child or a pet left in a car, call 911. Check out the chart below from the ASPCA and get more info HERE.

For more tips for your pets, visit BluePearl’s online blog HERE and learn more at BluePearl's website HERE.