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Pets and Heat

Unlike people, pets can't sweat to keep cool, especially when the temperature rises above 80 degrees. Be sure your pets are ready for the summer heat with these safety tips:

  • Provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and make sure they can find shade from the sun.

  • Though pets still need exercise during warm weather, take extra care when exercising older pets, short-nosed pets, overweight pets, and those with thick coats, as they are especially vulnerable to overheating.

  • On very hot days, limit walks to early morning or evening hours. Remember that pavement gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.

  • Know the symptoms of overheating: excessive panting, difficult breathing, drooling, vomiting, and seizures. Get your pet to a cooler location, ideally inside with air conditioning. Offer fresh, cool water. You can also wet their fur with lukewarm water and let them dry off in front of a fan. Contact your veterinarian with questions or if your pet shows signs of heat stroke (vomiting, seizures, cannot stand).

  • NEVER leave your pet in a car on a hot day. In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage, or death.

  • If you see an animal in distress from the heat, call 9-1-1 or if you live in the RASKC service area call 206-296-7387 (PETS).
Dog and family in the sun at the beach

Alvin Balemesa/Unsplash


Print out and post our "Hot Dogs Are Not Cool" poster!

RASKC values our animal welfare partner, PAWS, with who we work closely on animal issues related to adoption, rehabilitation and wildlife. As a recognized leader in the field, we are pleased to share these informational sources.

Pet Information Line
206-296-7387 (PETS)

TTY Relay 711