Top 8 Summer Tips for Pets – Pet Safety Tips
Summertime can bring lots of fun for you and your pets. The weather’s warm and your pets will be ready to get outside and play! Although we know you’ll want to have some fun in the sun with your pets, be mindful that higher temperatures can create more health risks for our furry companions.
Pets don’t regulate heat in the same way that we do and some animals, like dogs, naturally run hotter than us. This means that they are at a higher risk of becoming overheated and potentially suffering from heatstroke. To ensure your pet’s summer is as enjoyable and safe as possible, we’ve come up with a few summer tips for you to follow.
Our Summer Tips
1. Know the signs for heat-related illnesses
Possible signs of overheating include
Heavy panting (this can be a serious sign, especially cat panting)
Dry or bright red gums
Lack of urine
Muscle tremors (shaking or shivering)
If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, bring them to a cooler area, give them water, and call your vet immediately. Be aware of your pet’s medical history. If they are are older, or have conditions like obesity, breathing problems, or heart disease, you need to be even more careful with them in the heat.
2. Give your pets plenty of access to water, shade, and cool indoor areas
Your pets can easily overheat if they become dehydrated or have nowhere to go to get out of the sun. Dogs specifically get extra thirsty when they are hot, so make sure your pet always has ample access to drinkable water. Dogs and cats love to sunbathe but can risk becoming overheated if they stay in direct sunlight for too long. Monitor them when they are outdoors and make sure they have access to shade or a cool indoor area to retreat to if they get too hot.
For extra fluid intake, try switching your pet over to wet food during summer months!
3. Never leave your pet in a parked car
Your pet is probably in the car with you all the time and you may think it’s no big deal to leave them in there for a few minutes while you run an errand. However, even if the windows are cracked, this can be seriously unsafe for your pet. Cars sitting in the sun heat up very quickly and our pets are even more sensitive to heat than we are. Without a way to escape, our pets could suffer from heat exhaustion if life in a car for even just a few minutes. Never leave your pet in a car and if you see another pet left alone in a car when it’s hot out, take action immediately.
4. Take sunburn precautions
You may have never considered that your pets can get sunburned, but believe it or not, they can just like you! Sunburns can be very uncomfortable for them and can even lead to skin cancer, so it’s important to take precautions Apply sunscreen every three-to-four hours to the areas of your pet that aren’t covered in a thick layer of fur, such as their stomachs, ears, and nose. Do not use any sunscreen you find on the shelf! Only use sunscreen that is specifically made for pets!
5. Don’t shave your pet’s fur
If you’re tempted to shave your cat or dog’s fur to help them keep cool, don’t! Surprisingly, their furry coat actually helps them stay cool! This is because their coat has insulating properties that help regulate body temperature. The fur slows the process of heat absorption, allowing them to maintain their internal temperature more easily. Instead of shaving your pet, you can give them a trim or brush them frequently to help remove excess fur on their coat.
6. Avoid prolonged exposure to hot surfaces and be mindful of exercise times
When it’s hot out, don’t allow your pets to walk on surfaces such as pavement or sand for too long. These surfaces will heat up quickly under the sun’s rays and can burn your pet’s paws! We know daily exercise is important, so do your activities with your pet during the morning or evening when it’s less hot outside. This will help keep your pet’s paws from burning and will keep them from overexerting themselves in the heat.
If the floors are especially hot where you live, you can also purchase pet booties to keep your pet’s paws safe!
7. Avoid difficult exercise
Don’t push it when it’s hot out! If you need to exercise your pet, do it in the morning or evening when it’s less hot and keep your sessions short. Physical activity can make your pet heat up quickly, so avoid strenuous exercise during the summer months. If you are going for a hike or a longer walk, make sure to take plenty of breaks in the shade and drink lots of water.
8. Take parasite precautions
During the summer, parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes will be more prevalent. These parasites can carry nasty diseases that can make your pet very sick. Talk to your vet about what preventative medications you can use to keep your pets pest-free. Always do a thorough pest-check after your pet has been outdoors to ensure they don’t have any on their skin.
The summer months bring lots of fun in the sun, but they also bring increased health risks! It’s important to think of your pet’s health when the temperatures start to rise so that the two of you can have a fun, safe summer together. Always make sure your pets have ample shade and water when they are outside and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not showing any signs of heat exhaustion. Never leave them alone in a parked car, avoid strenuous exercise, and take precautions for both sunburns and parasite. If you notice your pet is exhibiting any signs of heat exhaustion, cool them down and call your vet!
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