It’s the season of BBQs, beaches and epic games of fetch in the backyard. While people and pets enjoy having fun in the sun together, it’s important to take extra special care of your furry family member when it’s hot and humid. Here’s how to keep them cool, happy and safe.

Hill’s Pet helps families prepare for whatever their pet journey entails. Learn more at HillsPet.com!

Rework Your Walk Times

Dogs rely on panting and sweating through the bottoms of their paws to regulate body temperature and cool down. (FYI: They have fewer sweat glands than humans, which is why there’s no sweaty fur to contend with!) During hot summer months, take longer walks in the morning and evening when it’s cooler outside. Be sure to find some shady spots to stop for breaks along the way. Scale back rigorous outdoor exercise when the sun is blazing. Even if your pup loves to endlessly chase a tennis ball, don’t overdo it. Keep in mind that panting is not common for cats, so if you notice your kitty breathing heavier than usual, call your veterinarian.

Bring Water on-the-Go

Hydration is just as important for dogs as it is for people. Whether you’re strolling around the neighborhood or hanging out in a friend’s backyard, bring along water for your dog and offer it regularly. (Remember, Fido can’t exactly tell you, “I’m thirsty!). Portable dog water dispenser bottles and collapsible travel dog bowls are great options for easy water breaks on the go. Add a few ice cubes when possible.

And Speaking of Water…

Some pets love getting wet! Give your pup a refreshing mist with the hose when you’re watering the garden. When you set out the baby pool or turn on the sprinkler for your kiddos, don’t be surprised if your dog wants to get it on the action, too.

Hill’s Pet helps families prepare for whatever their pet journey entails. Learn more at HillsPet.com!

Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

Keeping your pet in the car isn’t safe and can lead to discomfort, illness, and in worst cases—death. When a car is turned off, the temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels quickly. So run your errands solo, and leave your pet at home!

Get a Fresh Summer Cut

The dog equivalent of swapping sweaters for t-shirts is a summer haircut. Thick coats may make dogs feel hotter, faster. Your pooch will thank you for a trim from the groomer.

Protect Their Paws

Heading out for a walk is probably one of your pet’s favorite pastimes, but if the driveway or sidewalk is extra hot, it may cause injury to their paws. Check to see if the pavement is too toasty by pressing your fingertips on it for a few seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s not right for your dog either.

Know the Signs of Heatstroke

It’s possible for pets to become overheated and suffer from heatstroke if they’re exposed to too much heat and humidity. According to the Humane Society, some signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness. The risk for heatstroke may depend on the animal’s age, weight, pre-existing illnesses, and breed. For example, boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat. If you notice these signs, call your vet or head to an animal hospital immediately.

Hill’s Pet helps families prepare for whatever their pet journey entails. Learn more at HillsPet.com!