Did you know that when we’re hot, it’s even worse for pets? Here’s a quick review of summer safety tips for your pets from Woodlawn Animal Hospital.

Summer Safety Can Be Critical

Dr. Artis explains the warning signs of heat stroke for safety tipsNoticing the signs of heat stroke can be the difference between life and death. If you notice any one of these symptoms, take your pet to an emergency care center.

  • Excessive panting
  • Abnormal drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Unsteady gait
  • Abnormal gum and tongue color
  • Elevated body temperature (over 104°)
  • Anxiousness
  • Collapse

These symptoms indicate your pet should be seen immediately.

Overall Wellness Is Always Important

Before considering the risks of extreme heat, make sure you’ve scheduled your pet’s appointment for a summer well check.  Learn more about wellness here, and schedule your appointment today. 773-249-7191.

Follow these tips to protect your pets against summer heat.


Make sure your pets have unlimited access to fresh water, and access to shade when outside. When traveling with pets, even short trips, be sure to bring enough water to keep pets hydrated.

Exercise and Activity

Woodlawn Summer Safety for Your PetsConsult a Woodlawn veterinarian prior to starting your pet’s exercise program. Overweight pets and flat face breeds, like Pugs and Persian Cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke. Elderly, overweight pets, and those with existing medical conditions, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Avoid the hottest part of the day for walking, running or hiking with a dog. Avoid hot surfaces, such as asphalt streets, which can burn your pets’ paws.

Pet Hair

Feel free to trim longer hair on your pet, but never shave them. Pets’ natural layers of hair PROTECT them from overheating and sunburn.

Check with a Woodlawn veterinarian to get recommendations for sunscreen or insect repellent products. These products should always be labeled for use on animals – never products designed for people.

Garden and Yard Safety

Store lawn fertilizer and insecticides out of reach of pets. Follow safety instructions on lawn and garden products, particularly the instructions on how long you should keep pets out of treated areas. This is important because common rodenticides and insecticides used in lawn and garden treatment can be poisonous to cats and dogs if ingested.

For picnics and yard activities, keep citronella candles, tiki torch products out of pets’ reach. Our favorite barbecue foods can be harmful to pets. Any change in diet can give cats and dogs digestive problems. Pets should not ingest raisins, grapes, onions, or chocolate.

Make sure the plants in your garden and yard are safe for pets. If you use a lawn service, make sure they are aware that you have pets.

Holidays and Vacation

Consider leaving pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials.

Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost or scared, so speak with a Woodlawn veterinarian on how to create a stress-free environment for your pet at home.

Traveling with pets requires careful consideration. Woodlawn offers home-away-from home comfort for pets, making vacation planning a lot simpler. We’ll be happy to familiarize you with our boarding services. Call 773-249-7191. Having confidence that your pets are safe and comfortable provides the peace of mind you need to enjoy your vacation.

About your car

Safety Tip: never leave pets unattended in vehiclesNever leave your pets alone in a parked or waiting vehicle, not even with the window cracked. Cars can overheat to deadly temperatures quickly, even when the weather isn’t severe. Not only is it dangerous to your pet, it is illegal.