GEICO More

How To Keep Pets Safe And Healthy This Summer

It’s hot out there! And your pet is probably feeling it, too. To ensure your pets stay safe during the summer months, we sought the advice of Dr. Jeff Werber, a renowned veterinarian.

Choose Your Exercise Hours Carefully

“Exercise only in the early morning and late evening,” Dr. Werber advises. “Never do it in the middle of the day.” When outside, take breaks in the shade and have ample water available.

Know the Signs

“It’s important to know what to look for and assess whether your pet may be overheating,” says Dr. Werber. Watch for these possible symptoms:

Stay Hydrated

Make sure pets drink plenty of water. Dr. Werber has a clever tip for doing this: “Mix wet food into their dry food. It’s 70 percent water and will help with increased hydration.”

Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

When a dog pants in an enclosed space, all that warm breath stays inside the vehicle. “That’s why we recommend never doing this,” says Dr. Werber. “You can imagine how quickly that car can hit high temperatures.”

If A Pet Overheats, Cool Them Down

Wet a beach towel and drape it over your pet. Cool the feet: sweat glands that regulate heat are on a dog’s or cat’s pads. Move into the shade, and give your pet a drink.

Cover Them Footsies!

In the summer, the pavement can get scorching hot, and retain the heat after the sun has set. “I always recommend something to protect the feet,” says Dr. Werber. He suggests using booties or adhesive paw pads that keep paws safe and clean.

Cruise Control

While on a boat, pets should wear a life vest. Dogs may be capable swimmers, but as Dr. Werber emphasizes, “It’s good idea to have a little extra protection.”

When Outside, Be Bug Aware

This time of year, the biggest threats are fleas and ticks, which carry Lyme disease and other blood-borne parasites. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos, so make sure pets take prevention medication. As Dr. Werber advises, “if you’re not sure about the area, check with your veterinarian.”

Have Fun This Summer!

“It’s great bonding time,” says Dr. Werber. “We want you out there, and your pets will love you for it. Just have fun, and exercise caution.”


How much does having a pet cost you per year? We break down estimates for common household pets.

Having pet insurance can help you manage the costs if your four-legged friend gets sick or injured. Visit geico.com to learn more.


Dr. Jeff Werber is an Emmy Award-winning veterinarian based in Los Angeles, Calif. He has appeared on television shows like CBS’ The Early Show and Rachael Ray, has hosted Petcetera on Animal Planet and currently hosts Pet Care TV.

Originally published August 2015