Summer Health Tips for Pets

Heat Illness and Injury

The hotter temperatures can lead to serious health issues for pets. Always make sure there is sufficient shade and cool, fresh water available for your pet.

“The main reason hot weather is an issue for pets is because they are not able to cool off as efficiently,” says Tom Carpenter, DVM, AAHA president 2007-2008, and president of Newport Harbor Animal Hospital in Costa Mesa, Calif. “They don’t sweat and have to pant to release the heat.”

Issues that arise from overheating can include dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn. Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day, and keep your eye out for signs of heat illness, including pale gums, extreme panting, salivating, staggering and vomiting.

Swimming Safety

Pools, oceans, lakes – all sound very appealing in the heat of the summer. But there are dangers for your pet and ensuring that you know the risks will keep you and your pet happy and healthy! It is crucial that your pet never swims without supervision, as they can panic and exhaust themselves if they get caught in a current or can’t remember how to get out of the water.

Potential toxicity is also an issue for pets – saltwater toxicity and chlorine from pools can cause serious health issues. Ensuring that the pet doesn’t drink too much pool, ocean or lake water is important. And always make sure they have access to clean, fresh water.


Make sure your pets get exercise early in the day of an anticipated fireworks event. Keep them in the house and play music or have the television on to dampen the fireworks noise. Make sure they have access to a safe place if they want to “hide”; maybe put a soft bed or blankets in a bathroom or a corner of a bedroom where they feel comfortable and safe.

Always make sure your pet has a collar with tags with your contact information on it. And watch your dogs around open doors – lost pet reports shoot up over 30 percent during the 4th of July every year.

If you have any questions about how to keep your pet happy and healthy this summer, you may contact Valencia Veterinary Center at 661-263-9000.