Protect your pet in the Beaufort heat

 pethydrationBeaufort is a very active community, and we take our pets everywhere regardless the time of year.  When the mercury climbs in beautiful Beaufort, as it is now, and that heat index climbs up and up into triple digits, you can help to guarantee the safety of your beloved pets by following a few safety tips to ensure they avoid heat exhaustion.

Safety Tips

  • Water, water everywhere… Whether you are indoors or outdoors make sure you have plenty of fresh water available for your pets. Our community enjoys a very pet friendly downtown. Take advantage of the many water bowls available around the Waterfront Park.
  • Do not let your pet drink the saltwater from the riverways. The salt concentration in the water will make your pet dehydrated very quickly and your pet can become ill, including kidney failure and diarrhea.
  • Stay cautious on humid days… The humidity directly interferes with their ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When humans over heat we sweat, but our four legged friends only sweat around their paws. This is not enough sweat to cool their bodies. Panting helps relieve the additional body heat by moving air through the nasal passages and picks up additional body heat and expels it from the body via panting. Although a very efficient process, it has great limitations.
  • Watch for over-exertion… Daily exercise is an important part of keeping your pets healthy, but during our hot, humid Beaufort summers, it is best to limit exercise to early mornings or late evening when it is cooler outside. Keep walks at a slower pace and always bring plenty of water.
  • To groom or not to groom… Keeping your pet well groomed will help protect their skin from the sun and insulate them from the heat. It is recommended to clip excess matted hair or trim coats that are extremely thick as these coats can trap unwanted heat.
  • Protect against Antifreeze… These hot, lazy summer days may intrigue pets to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other harmful chemicals. Watch your furry friends and protect them from sneaking a drink.
  • Be mindful of pets that have trouble dealing with the heat… Bully breeds, dogs with snub noses (Pekingese, Pug, bull dogs, etc), over weight, elderly, very young, and ill animals have a much harder time regulating body temperatures. Please be mindful to keep these pets out of the heat of the day as they have a much harder time releasing excess body heat and can easily succumb to heat exhaustion.
  • Bring them inside…Your pet shouldn’t be left outside in the heat during our long, hot, summer days as heat stroke can happen very quickly.
  • NEVER leave your pet in the car… Even on cooler summer days the sun can heat the inside of your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit within a few minutes. Your furry friends would be much happier at home while you are running your summertime errands.

Heat stroke can be fatal even when emergency treatment is utilized. The best cure is always prevention.
Signs your pet may be having a heat Stroke include:
High Fever
Warm, dry skin
Rapid heart rate

As you continue to enjoy our wonderful Beaufort outdoors, remember to be mindful of your furry friends and their health. Have a happy and safe spring and summer!


  1. Bonnie Senn

    What a great article and very informational on pet care, We all have very busy lives, Making sure our pets are well taken care of is a must!!! Thank you for the article Dr. Smith! Very true and a great reminder of what all pet owner’s need to be informed. of, Thank you for taking the time to keep us all on our toes. We love our furry pets. We look forward to upcoming articles and tips for our loved pets and the excellent care they receive from Sea Island Animal Hospital. See you soon!

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