Summer Safety for your Pet

Summer is a great time for you and your pet to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, but with the heat of season comes hot sidewalks, dehydration, and other risks. Below are some tips to help prepare you and your pet for a safe and fun summer.

  • Keep your Pet Hydrated- Going on a walk? To the beach? To the park? Make sure you bring a portable water bowl for your dog and offer water to them frequently so they can stay hydrated. Dogs should drink ½ to 1 ounce of water for every pound they weigh. Also, it is important to take note of how much they drink, as they may not drink enough on their own.
  • Overheating- If your dog begins to pant heavily, have trouble breathing, to vomit, or appears to be unsteady, take your dog inside immediately. You can keep them cool by wrapping them in a damp towel until you can get them to the vet safely. Keep in mind that certain breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are particularly susceptible to overheating due to their short snouts.
  • Use Sunscreen- If your pet has a particularly light or thin coat you should take care to apply sunscreen, especially on their stomachs or other areas with less hair. Dogs can get sunburn too; there’s sunscreen made especially for pets, but baby sunscreen works as well. If your dog does get sunburnt, it is important to consult with you vet. You can often treat the burn with pure aloe vera, but your vet can help you select a brand without additives that is safe your pet or recommend another means of treatment.
  • Avoid the Heat- The best time to exercise your pet during the summer months is during the early morning before it gets too hot. Try to keep your dogs and cats inside during the warmest parts of the day (typically 1-4 p.m.), but if you must bring them outside, make sure the pavement, sidewalks, or sand is not too hot on their paws. Dogs and cats can get severe burns from walking on hot surfaces, so it’s better to avoid walks at this time all together. If you place your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, and it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet too.
  • Don’t leave them unattended- Cars, pools, and backyards can all present hazards for your pet during the summer months.
    • Vehicles: Remember, cars heat up quickly when they are turned off. Just a few minutes spent in the car while you run into the store can quickly turn into a life threatening satiation for your pet.
    • Pools: Just like kids, pets can fall in or drown if they do not know how to swim or how to exit the pool safely. Keep an eye on them if they are spending time near water.
    • Yards: Remember, summer months bring heat, so your 4-legged friend might want to come inside sooner than usual. Also, without water and shade, they may overheat and could suffer a stroke. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they stay hydrated and cool while romping around the yard.

Summer is the perfect time to get outside with your pet- whether it is going for a nice walk, a swim in the pool, or playing catch on the beach. Taking a few extra precautions will ensure that you   both beat the heat and that your 4-legged family members are safe this season.