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Dr. Steve Feature: Summertime Pet Precautions

Summertime is a time of fun and play for pets and humans. It’s also a time to exercise some care in terms of caution as the temperature rises. In addition, high humidity makes it feel a lot warmer than the temperature indicated on the thermometer. The Temperature-Humidity Index (usually called the Heat Index) indicates the degree of discomfort by the combination of temperature and humidity in warm weather. For example, a Heat Index of 105° F can be reached when the temperature is only 90° F and the relative humidity is 70 percent. Heat related illnesses that can occur under a high Heat Index include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, etc.


Pets at greatest risk of heat-related illnesses include:

  • Geriatric pets
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets under physical exertion
  • Unwell pets
  • Brachycephalic pets
  • Pets with fever, heart disease, dehydration or poor circulation
  • Pets receiving certain medications

Preventive measures:

  • Be cognizant of the Heat Index and take special precautions above an index of 72
  • Provide plenty of water, a shaded spot outdoors, and a cool, well ventilated area indoors
  • Vary exercise according to conditions and limit it to the cool part of the day –morning and evening
  • Do not leave your pet in the car (even with windows “cracked” at the top)
  • Be especially vigilant about vet care – heartworm, flea and tick, etc.

Our pets rely on us for fun but also for protection.


-Dr. Steve Tsengas, President and CEO