Summer is all about fun in the sun! However, for pets time outdoors in the summer can be dangerous and even deadly. Here are ten tips to make sure your pets stay safe this summer.
- Walk with caution
Take walks during the cooler hours of the day—early morning or late evening. Also, during summer months concrete and asphalt can get very hot and burn your pet’s paws. Always test the pavement temperature by placing the back of your hand on the pavement. If you are not able to keep it there for five seconds, it is too hot for your pet to walk on.
- Never leave pets in a parked vehicle
Simply do not leave pets in a parked vehicle when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures inside the vehicle can soar to over 100 degrees in just minutes leading to heat stroke and death.
- Provide plenty of shade and water
Dehydration can occur quickly when it is hot and humid outside. Signs of dehydration include dry gums, loss of skin elasticity, and excessive drooling. Prevent dehydration by avoiding excessive play and exercise during hot temperatures, and provide your pet plenty of shade and fresh water.
- Know the signs of overheating and heat stroke
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Seek treatment immediately. Common signs of heat stroke in dogs and cats are: exaggerated panting, brick red gums, rapid heartbeat, high fever, collapse, vomiting, and staring/anxious expression.
- Practice water safety
Not all pets are good swimmers; therefore, it is a good idea to introduce your pets to water gradually. Use life jackets to help them stay afloat and be seen by swimmers and boats. Avoid leaving your dog unsupervised around a pool, and try to keep them from drinking pool water due to the chemicals.
- Keep bugs away
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are more common in the summer months, and they can bring with them a variety of illnesses including lyme disease and heartworms. Consult your veterinarian for the best options to keep these pests at bay, and protect your pet.
- Avoid party disasters
Many of the foods and drinks found at a backyard barbeque can be hazardous for your pets. Politely ask your guests to avoid feeding your pet table scraps. Keep trash cans covered, food out of reach, or consider keeping your pet safely locked up away from potential harm.
- Prevent poisoning
Insecticides, citronella products, mushrooms, and certain plants can be toxic to pets. In addition, antifreeze leaking from vehicles can be especially deadly. Keep your pet away from areas where chemicals have been sprayed, clear your yard of mushrooms and hazardous plants, and ensure dangerous products are out of reach.
Follow these tips to ensure you and your pets enjoy a safe, happy and