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Rising Heat Presents Potential Dangers for Pets

June 16, 2021

With temperatures on the rise, Animal Control experts at the City of St. Peters remind pet owners that the heat can be dangerous to their animals. City of St. Peters ordinance requires all residents to provide adequate shelter and water for pets when they are outdoors, and that no animal should be within an enclosure or vehicle when weather conditions may be harmful to its health.


NEVER leave your pet in a hot car. Temperatures inside a vehicle rise quickly to dangerous levels, even with the windows cracked or open 1 to 2 inches. Your pet could succumb to heatstroke in a matter of minutes. If it’s 90 °F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 128 °F in 40 minutes (the same amount of time as an average shopping trip).


Recognize the symptoms of overheating in pets, which may include: excessive panting, drooling, weakness, seizures, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some animals are more susceptible to heat exhaustion, including: older/younger pets, overweight pets, sick pets, and pets with flat faces such as pugs and Persian cats.


Here are more tips to help keep your pets safe and comfortable in the heat:

  • WATER: Always try to have fresh, cool drinking water available for your pets, even if that means having multiple water bowls.
  • SHADE: Make sure that there is plenty of shade when your pet is outside. As the sun changes, be aware of what shade is still available.
  • EXERCISE: Don't over-exercise your pet, especially midday. Schedule walks for early morning or late afternoon/evening.
  • WALKS: If you are walking your pets, try to keep them in the grass or dirt. Hot pavement is just as sensitive for pets' paws as it is for our bare feet. The pads on their feet can burn and cause them to overheat more quickly. Before walking, press your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pets! After the walk, check your pet’s paws for pain or redness and use cold water to ease the burn.
  • GROOMING: Your pet may need more or less fur in order to stay cool – check with a groomer or veterinarian to see what's best for them.

For more information on Animal Control, go to the St. Peters Animal Control home page, and follow the St. Peters Health Department on Facebook.