- Provide plenty of fresh drinking water at all times
- Keep your pets kennel well-ventilated and positioned near a well-shaded area where he or she can avoid midday sun and heat
- Avoid excessive exercise during hot weather. Over-exertion can cause heat stress or stroke. Safe outdoor temperatures for pets vary by breed and size. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation specific to your pet.
Skin and Body
- Keep your pet well-groomed. Long hair and hair mats can decrease your pet's ability to keep cool and contribute to skin disease. So regularly brush your pet and trim hair as needed.
- Vaccinate your pet against infectious diseases (e.g. canine parvovirus or feline leukemia). Pets usually have more contact with other animals during warmer months and disease can spread more easily.
- Use monthly flea, tick, and heartworm preventives. Pets should take these preventives year-round. Remember, it's often easier and cheaper to prevent parasites than treat them when a pet's infested or infected. Take your pet for fecal exams for internal parasites at least yearly.
- To reduce pets' access to parasites and discourage parasite breeding, keep your yard clean of feces, dump any standing water - even in watering cans or flower pot saucers - clean up leaf litter, and trim bushes and trees.
- The poisons that kill common pests, like rodents, snails and slugs, are lethal to pets, too, if consumed. So limit your pet's access to places where these poisons are stored in and around your home.
- Lawn herbicides can also poison pets, so keep your pet out of the yard while spraying herbicides and off the grass for three days afterward. Washing pets' paws thoroughly with soap and cool water before coming back inside will help remove herbicidal residue.
- The temperature inside a car can easily climb to 120 degrees when a vehicle is parked in the summer sun. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.