: Protecting Jersey Shore Pets from Heat Stress or Heat Stroke

Protecting Jersey Shore Pets from Heat Stress or Heat Stroke

With scorching heat and humidity predicted at the Jersey Shore, humans aren’t the only ones who need to take care.  Pets are highly susceptible to heat and should be given a lot of consideration as temperatures rise.

Cymru T. DogWhenever temperatures climb, provide extra drinking water. Dogs pant to cool themselves by releasing body heat, but this process also can dehydrate his body.

To encourage a hot dog to drink on hot days, resupply cold water. Some people fill a dog bowl or bucket and freeze it overnight. As it melts during the day, it provides a steady supply of refreshing, cold water (check to make sure it melts quickly enough to provide as much water as he might wish to drink).

Change your dog’s water more often during hot weather and add ice cubes to your dog’s bowl.

Many hot dogs enjoy curling up with a nice cold ice pack. A frozen plastic water bottle stays cool for hours. Dogs who use frozen water bottles as pillows cool down quickly, since blood circulates close to the surface at the neck and throat.  (My dog used to like hanging out in a kiddie pool on days like these.)

At home, if your dog doesn’t have a dog door or easy access in and out, be sure he has shade to rest in and ample water supplies. The angle of the sun changes with the seasons, so be aware of shifting shade patterns. Providing shade is essential.

Ventilation and air circulation are crucial when dogs are confined to pens, crates, and kennels. Solid walls interfere with air circulation while chain link fencing, screens, or mesh fabric allow the air to move. Shade covers help reduce heat loads, and fans that circulate air have a cooling effect.

When heat and humidity are high, save outdoor activities for breaks in the weather or early morning or late evening when temperatures and humidity are lower. 

Temperatures are expected to rise to 100 degrees today at the Jersey Shore with high humidity, so watch for signs of pet heat exhaustion or distress.

If your pet is panting excessively, having difficulty breathing  has an increased heart and respiratory rate, is drooling, has mild weakness, stupor or even collapse, it is in heat distress.  Symptoms of heat distress in pets can also include seizures and vomiting along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. 

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.

Pet owners should watch their animals for signs of heat related issues and  if you suspect heat exhaustion or distress in your pet, apply cool compresses to the belly and neck and call the vet immediately.


Comment balloon 10 commentsLaura Giannotta • July 12 2011 08:28AM


Great post Laura and such an important message about how to take care of man's best friend. You are so spot on with hot water - it doesn't cool them down and it's easy to add ice or freeze half the water bowl and fill half with water to keep it cold. All pets should well cared for in this heat - after all, most of them are wearing a fur coat!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) about 9 years ago

Laura - this is great advice regarding taking care of pets in this summer heat.  It is good to know exactly what to watch out for in the different breeds.  

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) about 9 years ago

Rocky needs air conditioning.....English Bulldogs can't be too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter....it will kill them....comfortable at all times....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 9 years ago

Kristine-It's the least we can do!

Barbara H-It's responsible pet ownership!

Barbara-And Rocky deserves nothing less than total comfort at all times!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 9 years ago

This is extremly important as many of our pets are tied or otherwise confined and can't get any repreeve from the heat.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 9 years ago

Laura...a post after my heart.  How good to post it for all to read. Hopefully, you ae not just speaking to the choir.  We no longer have pets living with us, but we feed the next door neighbor's cat--he is about 19yrs old and comes over to eat and in the winter to sleep.  he is a pal--so we take care of him.
Love that picture of the dog Your's ?==so cute. Have a great week.


Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan about 9 years ago

Laura, I hope pet owners will read this post. I have seen people leave their dog in the car when they go to pick up grocery.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 9 years ago

 Can you imagine having a fur coat on in the summer heat ?  Nothing more fun than watching cats play "bat the ice cube" in their water dish....!

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 9 years ago

Hi Laura,  Good information!  Too many people don't realize how hot their pets can get. 

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Thanks for post this, Laura.  I think, even inside, take extra care.  I like your ice cube idea, and are going to put some in my cats' bowl now!

Posted by Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!" (Rulnick Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago