With summer temperatures topping 105º F, our lovely town of Gilbert, Arizona can get HOT. This extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and pets alike. Keeping your pet cool is essential for keeping them safe. Here are some tips from our veterinarians on how to keep your cats and dogs cool during the summer. 

Six Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in the Arizona Heat 

  1. Make sure your pet has fresh water available all day. Water can evaporate quickly on hot days, so be sure to check the water dish at least twice a day.
  2. NEVER leave a pet unattended in your vehicle. Most cases of deadly heat exhaustion have happened in cars. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures inside a car can reach 109º F in about 20 minutes—and that’s when it’s only 80º F outside. On triple-digit days, the temperature inside a car can rise even faster.
  3. Make a cool-down zone in your home. Find a place on the ground floor away from sunny windows, and point a fan at the area. Providing a cooling mat can help even more. 
  4. Check on elderly pets frequently, as they are more susceptible to heatstroke. 
  5. Prepare a few frozen lick mats to help your pet stay cool.
  6. Groom your cat or dog more often to remove patches of thick hair and allow them to stay cooler.

Additional Tips to Keep Cats Cool

  • Keep outdoor cats inside during the summer, so they will always have access to water and adequate shade. 
  • Move cat towers away from windows on hot days, as the height and the heat from the window will warm them up faster.

Additional Tips to Keep Dogs Cool 

  • Plan walks for early morning and later in the evening when it’s cooler outside. 
  • Bring extra bottles of water and a dish for your dog with you on walks and hikes. 
  • Take extra breaks in the shade on warm days. 
  • Check the temperature of sidewalks before you go out. Hot sidewalks, dry grass, and roads can burn delicate paw pads
  • Flat-faced dogs have a higher risk of heatstroke than other breeds. 
  • Avoid using hair dryers after baths on hot days. 

Heat Stroke in Pets Can Be Deadly 

Cats and dogs can’t sweat to cool down like we do, and with all that fur, it’s easy for them to get overheated. When it’s hot outside, your pet’s core body temperature could become dangerously high, which can lead to heat stroke, kidney failure, heart failure, and death.

Signs of overheating and heat stroke in pets include:

  • Intense panting 
  • Thick drool
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness and incoordination
  • Seizures 
  • Loss of consciousness

If your pet is showing signs of heat stroke, place wet towels all over your pet’s body, move them into the shade and fan them, or pour cool water over their body. You’ll also need to contact your veterinarian right away, as heat stroke can cause organ failure in pets. 

Emergency Veterinary Care and More

Here at East Valley Animal Hospital, we offer the best in veterinary services in Gilbert, Arizona. If you’re afraid that your pet is suffering from the heat and may need medical attention, please don’t hesitate to call. We’ll let you know if you can treat your pet at home, or if you should bring them in for emergency care. But now that you know how to keep your pets safe in the heat, we hope you will have a healthy and happy summer together!




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/21/24). Photo by Shannon Richards on Unsplash.