Keep your pet safe in the summer heat

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
A dog named Arrow wears booties designed to protect paws from hot pavement at a PetSmart in Tempe, Ariz., on June 20, 2017, as temperatures topped 100 degrees. ANGIE WANG / AP

For most people, summer means lazy days at the pool or beach, lots of sunshine, and outdoor barbecues with family and friends.

But certain outdoor activities — along with the extreme heat the season often brings — can put your pet’s health at risk and may even be life-threatening.

Just as extremely high temperatures can be harmful to people, the heat can be hard on an animal’s health, too.

“People can wear shorts and light clothes, but a dog still has on its fur coat,” Dr. Karl Jandrey, associate professor of clinical small animal emergency and critical care at the University of California, Davis, told CBS News.

Moderate heat stroke can occur in dogs when their body temperature reaches 104 to 106 degrees F.

“Normal body temperature for most dogs is 100 to 102.5 degrees, so this can happen very easily in extreme heat with activity. Heat stroke in dogs is a very terrible disease,” Jandrey said. “The high body temperatures break down their proteins and disrupt cellular function and impairs their brain function. Usually over 108 to 110 degrees these patients rarely survive.”

In extreme heat, he recommends dogs avoid high levels of physical activity for extended periods of time, such as going for a run or hike with their owner. Dogs who are outside during a heat wave should have access to plenty of water to drink and be hosed down regularly to stay cool.

Hot sidewalks or pavement can also burn dogs’ paws, so walk them on the grass if possible or put dog booties on their feet.

And of course, never leave your pet in a car unattended.

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