Pets play in the heat

Three dogs play around at Corby Dog Park after taking a break for water in the heat. Content Exchange

It is getting hot out, but imagine going through the heat with a winter coat on. Well, that's how our pets are beginning to feel.

Heatstroke for pets can happen very quickly. Aubrey Silvey, the Humane Educator with the St. Joseph Animal Shelter, said owners need to pay extra attention in the summer.

​​​​​"Pets can overheat really quickly outside in the high temperatures. So it’s really important anytime your pets are gonna be outdoors to make sure they have ample water and a source of shade," she said.

Pets can't tell you when they are hot, but they can show you. Silvey said it is up to owners to know the signs of when their pet is suffering from heatstroke. ​

"Excessive panting, you’ll see rapid breathing, their eyes will glaze over if they’re acting lethargic or drinking excessively. Those can be signs, excessive drooling, those are all signs that your animal is going through heatstroke and you should immediately get them to a cool place. If you have ice packs or anything you could put on them and call your veterinarian right away," Silvey said. 

Pets grab water in the heat

Dog takes a break to grab water at the Corby Dog Park. 

When the sun begins to beat down on the pavement, the temperature can be dangerous for paws without people noticing beneath their shoes. Silvey said pet owners can test pavement before walking their dogs to prevent any burns.

"There’s a seven-second rule so you want to put the back of your hand on the pavement for seven seconds and if that’s uncomfortable for you, it’s gonna be uncomfortable for your dog and could potentially burn their paw pads so it’s best to just not walk them during those times," Silvey said. "If you can keep them in the grass even when it’s a little bit uncomfortable that’s best and then always make sure you’re taking water with you on your walks when it’s warmer out."

If deciding to leave the house with your pet in the summer it is important that they are not left in a car. Even with the window cracked, Silvey said the sun can cause the internal temperature of the car to spike in just minutes.

Morgan Riddell can be reached at

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