Summer is an exciting time that we all look forward to when we can have some fun in the sun with our pets. But, it’s also a time when there are many pet dangers that you must be aware of as well. If you’re planning to spend any time outdoors with your furry best friends or plan to let them frolic around in the sun on their own, then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that they stay comfortable and safe in the hot summer sun. So, help your pet beat the heat this summer with these must-know safety tips:
Sun Protection – Just as you should wear sunscreen in the sun, so too should your pet when spending extended periods of time outdoors. Dogs that are white, hairless and with light colored fur are most likely to suffer from sunburn, so be sure to lather up before hitting the beach. You might even consider having your pet wear light clothing to avoid those sun rays from doing harm.
Shade – Prevent your pet from overheating by providing breaks out of the sun. Make sure that they have a shady retreat that they go to every 30 minutes or so.
Hot Car – Even with the windows cracked, the inside of a car can heat up to 100 degrees in just 10 minutes on a nice, “cool” 85-degree day! Don’t ever leave your pet in the car alone in the summer. And, if you see a pet stuck in a hot car on their own, call 911.
Signs of Heatstroke – Heatstroke can happen quickly when the sun is blazing. Keep your eyes peeled for signs of excessive panting, weakness, excessive drooling or lack thereof, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, glazed eyes, dark red gums, incoordination, unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat and seizures. In the event of any of these signs, call your veterinarian and move your pet to a cool place or place a cool, wet cloth on their bellies, ears, paws and neck immediately. It will also help to position a fan to blow on them. Just don’t try to force them to drink water or put them in cold water (this can cause them to go into shock).
Stay Hydrated – Pets can become dehydrated quickly. So, know the signs of overheating. Make sure your pet has access to fresh water and shade or air conditioning at all times.
Refill their water bowls more often than usual on hot days. Add ice cubes to help cool them down and prevent vomiting.
Hot Paws – Pet booties may look silly, but they can save your pet’s paws from serious burns and blisters. If you take your pet for a walk, avoid hot surfaces such as pavement, concrete and even dry sand.
Cooler Hours – The intense heat of midday can easily overwhelm your pet. So, exercise them in the morning or evening. It’s also best to just limit outdoor exercise in general on these hot summer days. Avoid long walks, hikes and excessive outdoor play. If you do want to extend outdoor playtime, consider some cooler alternatives, like letting your pet play in the sprinklers or a paddling pool. Just be sure to check that the water is cool before letting them play.
Parties and BBQs – Summer is for backyard parties and BBQs, but make sure that everything stays pet-friendly. If your pet is going to be around the festivities, keep everything out of your pet’s reach so that they can’t get into any human treats, especially grapes, onion, avocado, chocolate and alcoholic drinks.
Make safety a priority for your pet this summer, and share these tips with all of your fellow pet lovers to keep all of our beloved four-legged friends safe in the sun this summer!