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Summer is here, the temperature is rising! Keep your dogs safe!

Summer Safety Advice

Summer is here!  We have already had one hot week and there are many more to come.

We are excited for summer!  We love the outdoors and all our seasons!

Every year thousands of animals, including dogs, die in hot cars in the USA.  It important to keep your dogs safe in hot weather, that also includes in vehicles, out on walks and in the home.

Even with the windows cranked open the temperature can rise to 116F in as little as 30 minutes. in a car!


Every year hot days have me thinking about all those dogs suffering in this heat! Some of whom sadly do not survive.

We all want our dogs to stay happy and healthy in these hot summer months.  It is important to remember that dogs can’t cool down by sweating like we do.  Dogs cool down by panting to circulate air through their bodies to cool themselves down.



Dr Ernie Ward, in 2014, decided to see what it was like for a dog to sit in a hot car on a hot day.  He was armed with a thermometer and a timer.  He lasted 30 mins before the temperature reached a high of 116F.  It is clear to see in the video that he was extremely uncomfortable and sweating profusely (something dogs cannot do to regulate their internal body temperatures).

Check out his video here


So here they are, our recommended Summer dog safety tips!

  1.  Plan your walks and be sensible when and where you walk- Walk early morning or later in the day!  If your dog is unfit, overweight or suffers from breathing difficulties then be even more careful!  Wait for the temperature to drop, walk them by the lake or river and let them have a swim (remember safety around water with your dogs though- check out our local Pet Stores listed below for great water safety products for your dogs)
  2. 7 Second test- test the sidewalk/tarmac, check the temperature with your hand, place it on the tarmac for 7 seconds.  If it’s hurting you… then it’s too hot for your dog to walk on it
  3. Provide plenty of shade and water– all day long 🙂
  4. Is your dog welcome?– if you are going somewhere for the day, call ahead and check that your dog is welcome to come too.  If not we suggest arranging alternative care for the day- many local Boarding Kennels offer daily daycare services.  Check out Three Dog Ranch located conveniently between Whitefish and Kalispell CLICK HERE
  5. Get the paddling pool out– make sure to supervise your dog while they are playing in the pool, we LOVE the affordable plastic paddling pools from Walmart, check them out here

PLEASE don’t leave them in the car on a hot day!

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car:

  1. Quickly try to locate the owner (do not spend a lot of time on this!)
  2. Call 911 and give the exact location/vehicle description
  3. Stay by the vehicle until help arrives


Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs can include:

Panting heavily/Drooling excessively/appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated/vomiting/collapsing

We are not Veterinarians and we therefore always suggest that you call the experts to ask for advice!

Finally, if you think that your dog/puppy may have heat stroke please contact your Local Veterinarian (and we have many amazing Veterinarians in the Flathead Valley) for advice:

The Animal Clinic of Kalispell 406-755-6886

1408 Airport Road, Kalispell

Website here 


All Creatures Great and Small 406-756-6513

524 W Reserve Drive, Kalispell 


Calm Animal Clinic 406-755-8214

481 Main Street, Kila 

Website here 


Whitefish Animal Hospital 406-862-3178 

713 13th St E, Whitefish

Bigfork Animal Clinic 406-837-6250

7575 MT Highway 35, Bigfork 

Website here 


Glacier Animal Hospital Columbia Falls 406-892-4319

511 2nd Avenue W, Columbia Falls 

Website here 

Out of Hours Emergency:

Flathead Pet Emergency 406-257-6870

Open 6pm-8am weekdays

24 hours on weekends and holidays

2564 US Hwy 2 East, Kalispell

Website here 


Locally owned Pet Stores:

Whitefish- Tailwaggers

Kalispell- Dee-O-Gee

Bigfork- Happy Hounds

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