Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Onslow County Animal ShelterJACKSONVILLE, NC June 13, 2014 — Pets have a more difficult time keeping cool when temperatures soar. Onslow County Animal Services urges citizens to be mindful of the heat and keep pets cool to protect them from heat related illness and injury. Never leave pets in the car. On an 85 F degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows slightly open can reach 120 degrees within 30 minutes.
The following tips can save lives:

  • Never leave a pet in a car when you travel or run errands.
  • On very hot days, limit exercising your pet to early morning or evening hours.
  • Asphalt gets very hot and can burn a pet’s paws.

Pets with light-colored noses or fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Use sunscreen on their noses and ear tips.

Heat Stroke in Dogs and Cats
Dogs and cats do not perspire. They dispel heat by panting and through the pads on their paws. If heat stroke is suspected, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Signs of heat strokes include (but are not limited to):

  • Body temperature of 104-110 F
  • Excessive panting
  • Dark and bright red tongue and gums
  • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
  • Staggering, stupor or seizures, and rapid heartbeat

Cooling a pet:

  • Find shade and move a pet out of the heat
  • Use cool water, not ice water, to cool a pet (very cold water will constrict the blood vessels and impede cooling)
  • Place cool, wet cloth on feet and around head
  • Offer ice cubes for the animal to lick
  • Contact a veterinarian

For more information contact Onslow County Animal Services at 910-455-0182 or visit