With summer comes longer days and more time to spend lounging at the pool or playing in the park with your pet. Unfortunately, higher temperatures pose a threat to pets’ safety. Keep your dogs, cats and other pets protected from burns, heatstroke and dehydration with these seven summer safety tips for pets.
1. Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car
Running errands with your dog may sound like a great way to spend your weekend, but it’s best to leave your pet at home while checking off your to-do list this summer.
In some states, leaving your pet in a parked car is illegal — and for good reason. Consider this: On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside your car (even with the windows cracked) can reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit after only 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature can top 120 degrees. These temperatures are deadly for animals wearing a permanent fur coat.
2. Time Your Exercise With the Sun
All dogs and cats need exercise, but keep an eye on the hourly weather forecast during the summer. On hot days, take your pet outside for exercise in the early morning, when the sun won’t be directly overhead and the ground has yet to heat up for the day. Carry plenty of water to keep your pets hydrated, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
3. Watch Humidity Levels
Humidity compounds the dangerous effects of high temperatures. When animals get toasty, they pant to evaporate the moisture from their lungs. On humid days, they’re not able to expel all the extra moisture to cool off. Short-nosed pets are especially susceptible to breathing issues during high-heat, high-humidity days because they cannot pant as easily. Exercise indoors on days of high humidity, and limit time spent outside for potty breaks.
4. Protect Their Paws
Pavement creates a nice, smooth surface for walks but can become treacherous during peak-temperature months. Why? Sidewalks — especially blacktop — absorb the sun’s rays throughout the day. On a pleasant, 77-degree day, pavement temps can soar to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, which can burn your pet’s paws within 35 seconds.
Walk your dog on the grass when possible. If you live in an asphalt-laden area, invest in some insulating dog boots or protective paw balm to make walks and exercise more comfortable.
5. Keep Them Groomed
Here’s an easy way to keep your pet cool: a new ’do. Regularly visit a professional groomer. They’ll know how to cut your pup specially for summer. If you prefer DIY grooming, research the best techniques for your particular breed. For example, Siberian huskies have both an undercoat and a topcoat, both of which need to be de-shedded to prevent matting.
That said, never shave your pet completely; their hair protects their delicate skin from sunburn.
6. Keep Them Hydrated
A crucial summer safety tip for pets of any kind is access to plenty of drinking water, especially when outdoors in the middle of the day. At times like these, collapsible water bowls can literally be lifesavers. They easily fit in your backpack or purse with a bottle of water, which you can split between you and your pet on a hot day. You can find a wide selection of collapsible bowls here.
For a day at the park, frozen blocks of watermelon are hydrating and rewarding treats (that don’t spill!).
7. Recognize the Signs of Heatstroke
Always have your emergency vet’s contact information in your phone or on hand. Here are a few signs of heat exhaustion that may require you to call the vet:
– Excessive panting
– Bloody diarrhea
– Uncontrolled drooling
If you notice these signs, bring your pet indoors and give them water. Put cool towels over their head and paws and drive to your emergency vet’s office without delay.
Summer Is More Fun With Furry Friends
Frisbee at the park. Hiking trails. Adventures about town. Pets are so much fun in the summer. Remember these summer safety tips and keep them hydrated and protected from the sun so you can both enjoy every minute!
Have a healthy, fun summer with your pet. Explore more pet care tips and insights here.