The first days of summer are officially upon us. Whether you live here in New Orleans, or any other part of the country it is important to know what precautions to take with your pet during these hot summer months. Keep these tips in mind and remember to look for signs that your dog has had enough sun for the day. Also, get to know your breed. Certain dogs cannot be left in the heat for any period of time.

If your pet is outside during the day:

  • Provide protection from the sun and plenty of fresh water.  Older, short muzzle and overweight dogs are more likely to overheat during hot weather.  You can provide a wading pool to aid in cooling.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively.  These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake.

  • The temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in a few minutes.  Even partially opened windows will not protect your pet from heatstroke.

Exercise your dog in the morning or evening when temperatures and pavement are cool.

  • Paw pads can get injured from the hot pavement and melted tar can get stuck to the pad and hairs.  Pets need exercise but do it in the cooler hours of the day.

Dogs in truck beds can suffer injury or heat stroke.

  • If you cannot touch the hot truck bed with your bare hand, your dog should not be on the hot metal.  Also, debris from the road damages animals eyes.

Know the warning signs:

  • Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.  They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. 

Heat Stroke

  • If your pet is suffering from any of the above symptoms transport him/her to your vet or emergency clinic immediately.  Affects from heat stroke can be long lasting and deadly.

The LA/SPCA does not provide emergency veterinarian services.  Please transport any pets to a veterinarian or animal clinic.

Download a flier outlining heat precautions every pet owner should take.



Animal Control

1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.,  New Orleans, LA 70114  |  Phone: 504.368.5191  -  Fax: 504.368.3710  |  Copyright 2009  -  All Rights Reserved