Now that summer's here we all love to spend time outdoors, relaxing and playing in the sun. Summer days are meant for fun, both for you and your family as well as your pets.
Just as you take precautions to ensure your kids are safe during the summer with sunscreen or swim lessons you want to ensure your pets are safe in the summer sun and heat. Here’s a great list of tips from some of our favorite veterinarians for keeping Rover and Fluffy safe during the summer months:
- Keep them cool: take your walks or hikes with your pets in the cool of the morning or evening. Avoid that hot midday sun.
- NEVER leave your pet unattended in a car during the summer (or any time that it gets warm outside). Even with the windows down, the car will heat to extreme temperatures very quickly and can be dangerous to your pet.
- As fun as it might seem to let your dog hang their head out the car window or ride in the back of a truck, it can be very dangerous and lead to dust or something worse getting in their eyes or ears. Worse, a serious injury can occur to them if you get in even a slight fender bender, let alone a full accident.
- Make sure you get a full vet check before summer and stock up on the proper repellents for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other disease carrying insects. There are both drug and non-drug (natural) based solutions available.
- Be mindful of burrs and foxtails on your walks and be sure to remove them as soon as possible. A foxtail can work its way into their skin and cause an infection!
- Watch for overheating in your pet, especially if they are a flat-faced breed or a breed with a long heavy coat. They make cooling pads for pets now to help them keep their cool.
- Always be sure your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water to drink and shade to lie in if they are outside.
- Sidewalks and asphalt can become extremely hot in the midday sun. Check the temp with your palm and if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Keep them off of it or protect the pads of their feet with booties.
- It’s not smart to shave your pet in the summer. Their coats are designed to aid in regulating their temperature and shaving them will interrupt that process. If your dog seems to be suffering in the heat, check with your vet and have it done by a professional so that you don’t cause any harm.
- Be sure to keep sunscreen handy too. Short-haired or fair-skinned pets can get sunburn and skin cancer, so get some sunscreen spray and apply liberally if they are going to be out in the sun.
- Many dogs are fearful of fireworks and July 4th is one of the busiest times of year for lost dogs. Be sure to keep your dog inside and in a safe pace if they are fearful. You might also consider a Thundershirt, a coat specifically designed to help alleviate the fear of thunderstorms and fireworks.
- Most dogs and even some cats love to swim. Be mindful of pool safety, teach them where the steps to exit are and never let your pet swim unattended. You might even consider a life vest to ensure their safety around the pool.