It’s important to remember to pay attention to your pets with the temperature set to rise this week, especially as they are out in the heat.

To keep your animals safe and healthy, it is crucial to ensure their bodies are properly regulated.

“We have to definitely be in tune with their surroundings and how much time they spend out in the direct heat, and how much shade they get,” said Dr. Karly Lanz, a veterinarian at Prairie Health Animal Centre.

Older dogs, or dogs with underlying health issues such as heart disease, have decreased exercise and heat tolerance. Lanz said it is important to know your pets' limits when it comes to heat.

“Maybe they can only tolerate 15 minutes outside if it’s warm out versus, say, a healthy dog with no underlying health issues can tolerate a lot longer.”

She added that it is also important to take your pet's personality into consideration, noting that some dogs can play for hours at a time, but it's crucial to be mindful of the length of time spent on the activity.

“Whatever the activity, you know, running around at the dog park, that kind of thing, make sure to take frequent breaks and physically make the dog slow down and have a drink of water.”

It is also important to remember not to leave an animal unattended in a hot car. If they are in the vehicle, it is critical to keep the air conditioner on.

“They can die. Or if they don’t die, they can definitely have some severe life-threatening consequences after overheating.”

During the summer months, as more animals are out and about, there is an increased risk of encounters and fights between animals. Lanz noted that it isn’t just dogs but cats as well.

“We definitely see more cat bites, abscesses, interaction issues, that kind of thing.”

Remember, while we enjoy the summer sunshine, our pets depend on us to keep them safe and cool. Stay vigilant and keep an eye on your furry friends to ensure they have a fun and safe season ahead.