A hydrated dog in the sun, playing with a stick.

Straw hats and sunscreen, and a pitcher of lemon water will keep you cool as a cucumber in the summer. How can you be sure that your pet is cool and hydrated, too? There are lots of ways to keep your pet safe from overheating and dehydration.

Keeping Your Summertime Yard Cool and Comfy For Outside Pets

You and your family love to sit outside under the hot sun and soak up the Vitamin D rays of summer’s sunshine. Your pets can tolerate some direct sunlight, but they will need some shade to cool down sooner than you will.

Do you have cool, shady areas in your yard? Trees and shrubs offer cool retreats for outside pets. What can you do if you don’t have landscaping plants that provide shade?

  • Set up a temporary awning or tent for pet protection on sunny, hot days.
  • Provide access to a shaded, existing structure such as a covered porch, garage, or garden shed.
  • Make sure there is plenty of airflow and that clean water is always easy to find. 
  • If your pets will be in your garage or sheds, make sure poisons are out of reach.  

Water, Water, More Water, Please—But Not Too Much!

To keep your pets safe from dehydration, be sure clean drinking water is available at all times.

  • Keep water bowls out of the hot sun.
  • Always wash water bowls thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Don’t fill water bowls from hoses unless they are labeled as safe for drinking. PVC hoses use lead in their construction. Lead poisoning can cause severe neurological damage.
  • If you’re using a potable drinking hose, run water through it before filling pet bowls. Bacteria could be growing in the hose. Flush it out!

If your dog has been playing in a lake or river, and their behavior seems strange, they may have taken in too much water. If your pet is drinking more water than usual, your pet could be sick and need medical attention. 

Call us immediately at (210) 681‑1391 with your concerns. Your pet’s safety starts with you!

What’s Too Hot for Pets in the Summer Heat?

  • Cars—Temperatures can rise rapidly in vehicles, even with windows open. Avoid heatstroke, brain damage, and death by leaving your pets at home.
  • Beach—Sands may be dangerously hot, and there may not be adequate shade or places to refresh pet water bowls.
  • Pavement—Walk with your pet in the cooler hours of early morning or evening. Pavement, like sand, can be way too hot for paw pads.

Whenever possible, leave your pets at home where they can be cool, comfortable, and safe while you’re away. They won’t know that you played volleyball without them!

July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month, and the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is happy to celebrate! Ask us about best hydration practices for your beloved pets at your next wellness visit.