Summer Heat Poses Life-Threatening Risks for Dogs

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a pug dog lays in the grass panting in the heat.

Pets Best Insurance urges pet owners to protect animals from heat stroke 

BOISE, Idaho  – With temperatures soaring in many areas across the nation, Pets Best Insurance urges dog owners to exercise caution when spending time outdoors with their four-legged family members this summer. Pets Best, a leading nationwide pet insurance agency, seeks to warn pet owners about the serious risks associated with heat stroke and excessive sun exposure among dogs.

Each summer, the Boise, Idaho-based company receives a multitude of insurance claims filed for pets suffering from heat-related illnesses. High temperatures can create dangerous and potentially fatal health issues for dogs, the most vulnerable of which are short and flat-nosed breeds, including pugs, bulldogs and Shih Tzus.

Among the most common and dangerous risks for canines is heat stroke, which occurs when a dog’s body temperature exceeds 106 degrees and it faces potential damage to the brain and other organs. Fair-skinned and short-coated white dogs are also highly susceptible to excessive sun exposure, which can lead to sun burn and skin cancer.

Many pet owners are likely unaware of how quickly heat stroke and other heat-related issues can occur in canines. The risks are especially high if a dog is left inside a car, even on days with mild temperatures. On a seemingly cool summer day of 68 degrees, the temperature inside a car can jump to 81 degrees within a mere 10 minutes. After an hour, the temperature inside the car can reach 115 degrees, a deadly level for dogs.

Heat-related health issues are not only hazardous, but also incredibly expensive. The average insurance claim Pets Best processes for heat stroke is $1,136. On average, Pets Best reimburses $800 of that, which is why the agency encourages pet owners to consider the benefits of obtaining insurance coverage for their pets.

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“Pets Best sees a high number of claims for heat stroke every year, and we urge pet owners to prevent this issue by protecting their pets from intense heat,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best. “Of course, summer emergencies can happen anytime, and being prepared with pet insurance coverage has saved our clients significant amounts of money for their veterinary care.”

Pets Best also recommends watching for several key warning signs of heat stroke among dogs. These warning signs include:

  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Bright red gums
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing

To prevent heat-related illnesses, Pets Best recommends avoiding outdoor activities during the middle of the day, when temperatures peak. It is also important to ensure dogs have access to shade and water while they enjoy the outdoors. If a dog is showing signs of heat stroke, pet owners should immediately move the dog to an air-conditioned area and seek veterinary care.

For more information about the plans offered by Pets Best Insurance, visit

About Pets Best Insurance

Dr. Jack L. Stephens, president of Pets Best Insurance, founded pet insurance in the U.S. in 1981 with a mission to end euthanasia when pet owners couldn’t afford veterinary treatment. Dr. Stephens went on to present the first U.S. pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Pets Best Insurance provides coverage for dogs and cats and is the only veterinarian founded and operated pet insurance company in the United States. Dr. Stephens leads the Pets Best Insurance team with his passion for quality pet care and his expert veterinary knowledge. He is always available to answer questions regarding veterinarian medicine, pet health and pet insurance. The Pets Best Insurance team is a group of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value. Visit for more information.

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Pet insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company, a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit: In states in which Independence American Insurance Company’s new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut will underwrite policies. Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products. To determine the underwriter in your state, please call Pets Best at 1-866-929-3807.

Pets Best Insurance is a proud member of the North America Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).


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