Northern Baltimore: Heat Safety for Pets

mt. carmel animal hospital heat safety

Follow these heat safety tips to help your family remain healthy while hot.

Summertime can be uncomfortable in Northern Baltimore and possibly dangerous for pets and people. It’s hard enough to manage rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity. But things become challenging in areas that are hit with storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results. Fortunately, the Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital team can assist in keeping your pets safe and cool this summer. Follow these heat safety tips to help your family remain healthy while hot.

Heat Safety Tips

Avoid Leaving Your Pets in a Parked Vehicle

Not even with the vehicle running and the air conditioner on! Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly increase to dangerous levels on a warm day. For instance, the temperature inside a vehicle with slightly open windows can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes on an 85-degree day. Consequently, your pet might suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

Monitor the Humidity

Besides the ambient temperature, humidity can also affect your pet. Animals pant to release moisture from their lungs, removing heat away from their bodies. If there is high humidity, pets cannot cool themselves, and their temperature will quickly rise to dangerous levels.

Limit Exercise on Hot Days

Take care of your pet when exercising. Also, adjust the duration and intensity of exercise following the temperature. On sweltering days, limit movement to only early morning or evening hours. In addition, be careful with pets with white-colored ears because they are prone to skin cancer. Remember, asphalt gets hot and may harm your pet’s paws, so walk your pet on the grass. Don’t forget to carry water with you to hydrate your pet companion.

Provide Sufficient Shade and Water

Make sure your pet is protected from heat and sun when they are outside. During heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Ideally, tree shade and tarps don’t obstruct airflow. In fact, a doghouse doesn’t provide relief from heat; it worsens it by trapping the heat and creating an even hotter environment.

Cool Your Pet Pal Inside and Out

Always provide ample water, whether your pet is inside or out with you. Keep them from overheating indoors or outdoors with a cooling body wrap, mat, or vest. If your furry friend enjoys water, you can provide them with a kiddie pool outside or let them enjoy a cool soak in the tub indoors.

Signs & Symptoms

Extreme temperatures can trigger heatstroke in pets. Some initial signs of heatstroke include heaving panting, fired red gums, glazed eyes, and hypersalivation. As heatstroke intensifies, your pet may experience vomiting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, fever, pale gums, lack of coordination, a rapid heartbeat, seizure, and unconsciousness.

In particular, heatstroke can impact animals who are very old, very young, overweight, have heart or respiratory disease, or are not conditioned to prolonged exercise. Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs, pugs, shih tzus, boxers, and other pets with short muzzles will have difficulty breathing in extreme heat. This is why heat safety is vital for pets.


If you have a pet suffering from heatstroke, move him or her into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Then, apply cold towels or ice packs to their head, neck, and chest. Otherwise, run cool (not ice-cold) water over them. Also, let them consume minor amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Most importantly, to take them directly to one of our veterinarians! Heatstroke is a health emergency, and your pet will need intensive care to prevent potential organ damage. Mount Carmel Animal Hospital is the ideal choice for all of your pet’s veterinary needs, including heat safety emergencies. Please call us ahead of time at 410-343-0200!


Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Friday, July 21st, 2023 at 1:23 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.