With warmer temperatures upon us, more time is spent outdoors with our pets. If you walk or drive through your neighborhood, more than likely you’ll see pets on a walk or playing with the kids in the front yard. They also get excited and like to be included in the family vacation or a weekend getaway.
However, more time outdoors can lead to injuries and more trips to your local veterinarian. Here are some tips to enjoy summer with your pet(s) and to keep them safe.
Pet Safety Tips
1. Be aware of heat and humidity.
The warmest time of day is between 1:00 and 4:00pm. If you’re going to take your dog for a walk, make it a short one or change your routine. Consider a walk in the early morning or evening.
Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Excessive panting;
- Poor oxygen flow; and
Many factors can contribute to your pet to experiencing these heat-related illnesses. Those factors are:
- Overweight pets;
- An illness or certain medications; and
- Heart disease or poor circulation.
2. Crank the air.
Today, thermostats allow us to control our home temperature based on the time of day. If you’re like me, I set the temperature higher during the day and lower in the evening when I’m home. However, if you have pets at home during the day, consider leaving the thermostat at a lower temperature.
3. Be aware of hidden dangers in your yard.
There are many dangers in your yard that can cause serious illness or death.
Some of those dangers include insect bites or stings, plants from your garden, lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and mulch. If you have a lawn service, consider asking them to contact you the day before they apply a fertilizer or pesticide application. This way you can inform your family and make alternative plans for the day pets should not be in the yard.
4. Avoid sharing food.
Summer picnics and a holiday barbeque are nice ways to enjoy time with family and friends. There’s always so much good food. While dogs turn into professional beggars, you shouldn’t share food with them. Excessive fats can lead to GI upset or even life-threatening pancreatitis.
Serious intestinal damage, obstruction, or perforation can result from eating corn cobs or bones from chicken, steak, or ribs.
5. Hold off on that buzz cut.
With rising temperatures, it seems natural to give your dog a summer haircut to help keep them cool. However, many people don’t realize a dog’s coat has several layers that help keep it cool in summer, just as it keeps it warm in the winter. Short haircuts can also lead to sunburn. If your dog has long hair, a summer cut is ok, just make sure you take your dog to a professional groomer.
6. Life jackets save lives.
Parents don’t hesitate to put a life jacket on small children. What about your pet? There is a misconception that dogs are natural swimmers or enjoy it. That’s not necessarily true. Like people, dogs can get nervous around water or be weak swimmers. A bright life jacket will not only keep them afloat, other swimmers and boaters will be able to see them better.
7. Be aware of hot asphalt or concrete.
These materials can burn paws.
8. Never leave your pet in an unattended car.
I know this seems like common sense, but look around the grocery store parking lot this summer. The interior temperature of a car can rise significantly on a hot day, even with the windows cracked.
9. Don’t drive with your pet on your lap.
Doing this can lead to distracted driving resulting in injury or death.
10. Help them brave severe storms.
If your pets get scared during thunderstorms, consider taking them to a place in your house with no doors or windows. You may also find playing music, turning up the TV or turning on a fan may drown out some of the noise.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.