Animal Medical Center of Watkins Park

60 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774


Hot Weather Care

After a long winter cooped up in the house, there's nothing like frolicking in the sun with your best four-legged pal. But summer fun can quickly go south if you're not mindful of heat's effect on your pets. Keep them safe with these tips from the Humane Society of the United States.

Never leave your pet in a car

Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

Limit exercise on hot days

Take care when exercising your pet. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

Provide ample shade and water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

Watch for signs of heat stroke

Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke

Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.

AMCWP Joins Forces with Pets for Patriots

Partners with charity to support shelter pet adoption by active military and veterans

Since 2011, The Animal Medical Center of Watkins Park (AMCWP) and Pets for Patriots, Inc., a nonprofit that connects loyal adult shelter pets with our country's loyal service men and women, have worked together to support the well-being of adult shelter pets. An estimated four million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized every year, in spite of numerous studies proving the emotional and physical benefits of companion pets. Working with Pets for Patriots, AMCWP gives our service members, veterans and their families the gift of unconditional friendship and love while providing millions of dogs and cats a second chance at life.

Military personnel from any branch of the United States military and at any stage of their careers—active, reserve, retired or veteran—are eligible to adopt a pet through the Pets for Patriots program.  Eligible pets include a dog or cat over two years old, and especially large dogs

Service men and women interested in the program must first apply through Pets for Patriots and provide proof of their military service. Upon approval, the service member can adopt through participating shelters in the community and take their new best friend to the AMCWP for care.

Pets for Patriots, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that helps military members adopt adult shelter pets. Pets for Patriots is one of the only organizations in the country dedicated to both adult pets and military members. Visit for more information, follow on Twitter at and become a Facebook fan at

AMCWP offers all active military family pets a 15 percent discount on the cost of exams and treatments.