Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Summer in Virginia Beach is finally here! It's time to get outside and enjoy the weather, summer festivities, beach, pool, whichever floats your boat.

Summertime can be the most enjoyable time of year for humans and pets alike. It's a great time to make memories with your best pal that will last a lifetime.

Many times our pals can join us on our adventures, but be sure to play it smart.

In this article I will discuss our top Summer Safety Tips for Pets so your pet can enjoy summer safely and happily.

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Paw Safety

During the warmer months, paw safety should be at the front of your mind. When you walk your dog, be sure to stay off the concrete as much as possible on warmer days. Concrete can reach staggering temperatures that can actually cause burn damage to your pet's paw.

According to Vetsnow,

"Dogs can suffer burns to their paws on days most people wouldn’t consider searingly hot.
If the outside temperature is a pleasant 25C (77F), there’s little wind and humidity is low, asphalt and tarmac can reach a staggering 52C (125F).
This can rise to 62C (143F) when the mercury hits 31C (87F).
It’s worth bearing in mind that an egg can fry in five minutes at 55C (131F) while skin destruction can occur in just one minute at 52C (125F)."

Rather than walking directly on concrete, we recommend to walk your dog as much as possible in the grass and shady areas.

If you're not sure whether the pavement is too hot for your dog or not, try the 7-second test as recommended by Vetsnow. Place the back of your hand to the pavement/surface for 7 seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your pet!

Can Your Breed Handle the Heat?

Certain breeds such as flat-faced breeds like pugs and boston terriers have a higher risk of breathing difficulties and overheating/heat stroke. Make sure you talk with your vet about the right amount of time you can spend outside with your pup and limit it as recommended by your veterinarian.

Look Out For Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Be sure to be on the lookout for these symptoms of Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stoke, as according to the American Kennel Club:

  • Panting

  • Hypersalivation (drooling)

  • Warm to touch

  • Red mucous membranes of mouth

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Dry nose

  • Quiet or poorly responsive, may lay down and refuse or be unable to rise

  • Vomiting

  • Blood from mouth or in stool

  • Seizures

  • Muscle tremors

  • Ataxia (staggering)

  • Coma

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately! Don't wait to see if they feel better first.

Make Sure Your Dog Has Plenty of Shade & Fresh Water

When your dog needs a break, make sure you have some shade for them even if it's just a beach umbrella. They will need a place to cool down for a bit and enjoy a nice drink. It's very important to make sure your pet stays hydrated, just like you.

We recommend always bringing a bottle or two of water for your dog when you're out on a hot day, whether you're out playing or just relaxing and enjoying the breeze.


Speaking of water, many Virginia Beach pet parents love taking their dogs to the beach. While it's great exercise and fun, make sure you're always watching your pooch so they don't drink the saltwater.

Saltwater came make dogs very ill and it is best to distract your dog with a toy instead so you can call them over to drink some fresh water.

Don't Leave Your Pet in a Car

NEVER leave your pet in a car on a warm or hot day, even if you just have to run inside for something quick.

Cars can quickly increase temperatures that basically make the vehicle function as an oven.

The risk and danger to your pet overheating is so high that you should drop your pet off at home before running your errand.

Never Leave Pets Unsupervised While Outside

Lastly, while you are at the beach or poolside, be sure your pet is always supervised and not left alone. Many dogs can swim, but it's best to keep a close eye on them just in case something like a slip and fall happens. Anything can happen. Pets are like children after all.

It's my hope that this article has given you the tools to have a wonderful, safe, and happy summer with your dog!

Did I miss anything of concern? Leave a comment to let me know below.

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