Happy Summer, pet parents! Boo the dog here, ready to share tips on summer weather safety for pets. Us pets love the warmer temperatures because it means more “pawsome” outside fun, but there are a few things to keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors. From the hot temperatures to water safety, here are my top tips for staying safe during the dog days of summer!
Late spring or early summer is a great time to take your dog or cat into the vet for their routine exams. Pets should get a heartworm test yearly and be on monthly parasite prevention medication, so spring is the perfect time to do it since heartworms are transmitted through infected mosquitoes. It is also a good time to get any vaccinations, as your pet may be outdoors more in the coming months.
Warmer temperatures can mean shedding some fur for your fur baby. Keep regular grooming appointments throughout the summer months to make sure your pet’s coat is healthy. However, keep in mind you should never shave a long-haired dog. While you may think you’re doing them a favor by keeping them cooler, the layers of fur actually help protect from overheating and sunburn. Speaking of sunburn, invest in a sunscreen specifically made for pets and apply to areas that may be susceptible to sun exposure.
There is a lot to remember when it comes to hot temperatures and your pet. First of all, be familiar with the signs of heat stroke and overheating so you can take the proper steps to address it if the need should arise. These include excessive panting or trouble breathing, increased heart rate, weakness, collapse or seizures, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea. Introduce your pet to the extremely hot temperatures slowly so he or she can get used to them. Secondly, pay close attention to pavement heat. If you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement for longer than 10 seconds comfortably, it’s too hot for your dog and you could risk burning his or her paw pads. Finally, never leave your pets alone in a parked car. Even if the windows are cracked, the inside of a car can be 30-40 degrees warmer than the air temperature outside.
Summer months mean backyard barbecues, and as much as us pets love a bite of grilled meats, keep these food safety tips in mind. Alcoholic beverages can be fatal for pets, so remind any guests to keep these out of reach. While it may seem harmless to give just a bite or two of your food to your pet, know that any little change in diet can cause digestive issues. Especially remember to avoid raisins, grapes, onions and chocolate around your pets, as these can cause serious illness.
More pets go missing during Independence Day festivities than any other holiday. This is because the noise and commotion of fireworks can be terrifying for pets. Make sure to plan ahead for your holiday celebrations if they include fireworks. Ideally, pets should stay home from fireworks celebrations in as sound proof of a place as possible with their bed and/or favorite toy. For more advice, check out a whole blog I wrote just on this topic alone!
Don’t assume all dogs are great swimmers. If your pet has never been around water like a pool, make sure they are introduced slowly. Around lakes or dark bodies of water especially, make sure you invest in a good flotation device for your dog. Try to keep your pets from drinking chemical-ridden pool water and keep clean drinking water close by. And, after water play, make sure any chlorine or salt water are rinsed from your pet’s fur to keep his or her coat healthy.
Fleas and ticks love the warm weather, so as mentioned before, keep your pets on a monthly parasite prevention medication. However, during the summer when your dog is outdoors more frequently, you may also invest in a topical solution. This will ensure that on those long walks or along hiking trails, your fur baby is not picking up any unwanted pests.
Thanks for reading, pet parents! Boo the dog signing off, wishing you and your pets a happy and healthy summer!