Kirkman Animal Hospital in Orlando

Keeping Pets Cool in Orlando

You might be able to cool off quickly using a hose or fetching a class of ice water, but your pet depends completely on you to keep them cool on sweltering summer days. Dogs and cats can’t cool themselves off as efficiently as we can (by sweating). Certain breeds, such as Boxers, English bulldogs, Pugs and Persians, are highly susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke due to their flattened faces. That’s why we strongly encourage all pet owners to consider the risks their pets might face if they’re exposed to higher temperatures and uninhibited sunlight.

Summer Pet Safety Tips

We understand that circumstances might require your pet to be outside for a certain amount of time, or accompany you on a trip to the beach. Be aware of any potential hazards, and plan well ahead of time to make sure your pet has everything they need to be cool, comfortable, and safe. Keep in mind the following:

  • Never, EVER leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle—not even if the vehicle is in the shade with its windows rolled down. Car interiors heat up extremely quickly in the summer, and even just a few minutes can be too long for your pet. If it all possible, leave them home!
  • Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun is less direct and temperatures are cooler.
  • Keep your pet off of the hot pavement; this can hurt their paw pads and raise their body temperature.
  • If your pet needs to stay outside for any reason, make sure they have cold, fresh water available and plenty of shade. If you have a small kiddie pool, convert it into a wading pool for your pet.
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended near a larger swimming pool or large body of water; not all dogs can swim, and parasites may be lurking.
  • When in doubt, keep your pet indoors.
  • If your home has insufficient air conditioning, consider a cooling bed for your pet and make sure their space is well-circulated.
  • Keep your pet on a sturdy leash at all times in public parks and beaches
  • Keep toxic foods such as grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, dark chocolate, and sugar-free gum away from your pet
  • Pick up the remains of fireworks or any other discarded objects around your property that your dog might investigate.

If you notice signs of heatstroke in your pet, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, labored breathing, or bright red gums, call us immediately at (407) 900-2097. The sooner we can treat your pet’s condition, the better.