It’s hot out there! Summer is here and as we put away our heavy blankets and coats, we need to remember that our pets need some extra TLC during the hotter days. Just as we spend a little more time making sure we are ok on the hot, humid, and sometimes unbearably gross days, our pets need to be taken care of too.
Here are 13 Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer
- No sunburns! Shield delicate skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs and second most common in cats. Even though fur provides some protection from the sun, you should apply a pet-safe and pet-geared sunblock every 3 to 4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies on dogs (especially ones who like to lie on their backs) and ears and around eyes on cats, which are also areas where malignant tumors are likely to show up.
- Trim your pet’s fur but don’t cut it too short. While it may seem logical to cut your pet’s coat short to keep them cooler, resist the urge. The fur can help regulate the body’s temperature and protect your pet from being sunburned.
- Change the walking schedule if needed so you and your dog aren’t out at the hottest points of the day. This is important for dogs with shorter muzzles and smaller nostrils who can’t pant as efficiently as other breeds. You may need to shorten the walks too and be mindful of the hot cement on their paws as they can end up with raw and aching feet. Opt for grass or wait till the sun has gone down.
- Never EVER leave your pet in a car! The temperature changes so quickly in cars that even a cracked window won’t help. If you don’t believe us, sit in your car with the window cracked to test how fast it gets hot in there. On average, the temp rises about 20 degrees in 8 minutes.
- Keep it cool indoors. Turn on the AC in your home, especially if you’ll be out of the house for several hours. If it’s too warm for you, it’s too warm for your pet. If you crate your pet, move it to the coolest room in the house and keep the curtains drawn to help reflect the sun back out.
- Going to go camping and boatin? Use a lifejacket. Have your dog wear a life vest in a bright color in any body of water to help her stay afloat and ensure that she can be seen by swimmers and other boaters.
- When playing in the pool, don’t let your dog near it. The chlorine in the water is not good for their skin, eyes, and they may swallow some which can make them ill. Never leave your dog near any uncovered pool unsupervised as well. If you have a dog that loves water, consider getting a kiddie plastic pool for him or finding a doggie daycare that has a pet-safe swimming pool.
- Keep those bugs away! Hookworms, ticks, fleas, and heartworms are more prevalent during the summer and are just… icky. Get preventatives from your vet and talk about what other parasites might be common in your area that your dog and cat need to be protected from.
- BBQ safely. If you can, avoid using charcoal. There seems to be some weird attraction that dogs have towards those. They sniff, lick, and sometimes swallow them. We don’t know why. If you do have a charcoal grill, keep your pet away from it and from all the cooking supplies.
- Don’t share your grilled foods with your pet. Some items like corn are not good for your pet to ingest at cookouts. Burgers, hot dogs, and other meats that might have been marinated or spiced can give your dog a very upset stomach and give you a long night of nursing a sick pup back to health. Play it safe, no people food for your pet.
- Guard your garden. Some plants are toxic to your pets. Avoid azaleas, lilies, and other plants that can make dog and cats sick or cause fatal results.
- Use pet-safe products for your garden. Bone meal and other fertilizers and chemicals may help your plants look amazing but if your pet ingests any of them, it could mean a trip to the emergency vet. Keep all garden supplies in a safe place and look into alternatives to bone and blood meal.
- Keep away from the fireworks. A threat to curious dogs that might try to eat them, fireworks are made with chemicals like potassium nitrate, and parts (like a fuse) that could get stuck in the stomach. When using fireworks, leave your pet home. Your dog might try to chase a sparkler, get too close to a bottle rocket, and it’s not worth the risk. Let them stay home and chew on a tasty treat while you go play with fire.
Image from Zootoo.com