After much anticipation and a few too many days of June gloom, Summer has arrived here in Long Beach. As we pack our beach bags and dust off the fans, we must not forget our dogs and cats are enduring this heat as well. You and your furry one will be spending more time out and about and under the sun. It is crucial to take the proper precautions to keep your pet cool so he or she doesn’t undergo heat exhaustion.

Understand the details

Two major reasons pets overheat are hyperthermia and their upper respiratory systems. Hyperthermia occurs in animals when they’re trapped in warm environments, like hot cars or sunny beaches, and lose the ability to keep themselves cool. Dogs with compromised upper airways, like bulldogs, have difficulty breathing. Heavier breathing can create more heat through exertion and result in heat stroke.

Dodge the sun

Beat the hottest part of the day and save your exercise and playtime for early mornings or early evenings. The ground will be cooler on their pads and air will be easier to breathe.

Shade your pets

If you’re out with your pet midday, make sure they have a place out of direct sunlight to retreat to. The asphalt and hot sand can burn the pads of the paws. If we are experiencing a particularly warm day, keep them indoors.

Leave your pets at home

If you have a list of errands, don’t bring your pets along with you. This will increase your chances of leaving them in a hot car, which you should never do. The hot weather and running around will increase their panting, causing respiratory distress.

Be careful of breeds and conditions

Heat stroke is more susceptible in flat-faced pets like pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and Persian cats. Also keep pets that are older, overweight, and have heart or lung conditions in air-conditioned areas.

Trim and brush hair

The layers of fur help protect your pet from overheating and sunburn. While trimming long hair is ok, it is unnecessary to do anything else for cooling. You can brush your cat to help remove excess fur.


Pets can also get dehydrated quickly. Make sure to always have plenty of fresh, clean water available to them. The water helps replace fluids evaporated in the respiratory tract during panting.