Caring for your beloved pet in the summer presents brand new challenges to overcome. Take caution to follow these tips to ensure the furry members of your family are safe regardless of the season.
Mind the Heat
Just because you enjoy basking in the 80-degree sun, doesn’t mean your pet will. Keep in mind, while you’re cool and comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt, your dog could be wearing the equivalent of a fur coat, making the day that much hotter.
When going for walks, pay attention to the hot pavement. Either invest in some booties made for this purpose or walk only in shaded areas and the grass. It’s not just the concrete and asphalt that can be a pain, either — hot sand can be quite uncomfortable.
A simple trick to tell if the pavement is too hot for your dog’s paws? Simply place the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.
To be on the safe side, also learn the signs of heatstroke in your pet, including excessive panting, salivation, heightened pulse and vomiting. Lower your dog’s body temperature using cold water and ice and offer chilled water to drink. Then, take your pet to the vet.
Watch the Pests
With the warm weather comes insects and many love to catch a ride on your dog or cat.
Ticks can be a primary issue for dogs, cats and even other mammals that spend time outdoors. Invest in a preventative medicine after discussing the correct option with your vet, but take other precautions as well. Avoid walking your dog in tall weeds or grass and keep your lawn tidy to avoid your cat or other pet finding just the right spot to attract these pests. Wash and groom pets regularly using preventative shampoo that targets ticks and fleas.
Look for the signs your pet may have picked up a tick or fleas. Warning signs include excessive itching or biting and skin irritations.
On the other end of the equation, you’ll want to watch your pets around the various ways you keep these pests off you and your family. Citronella and bug sprays can be toxic to animals. Always use them in a ventilated space, away from your pets and never use them on the animal itself.
There are many summertime activities that can be stressful for pets. Travel for summer vacation is one of these activities. Before hitting the road with your car-shy pet, break them into the idea with short rides around the block. If necessary, ask your vet about an anti-anxiety medication.
Fireworks are often frightening to dogs and cats, so don’t bring them along to places where fireworks may be set off. Instead, keep them at home and as comfortable as possible.
During backyard barbecues and other social events, keep a close eye on your pets to ensure their safety and comfort around unfamiliar crowds, sights, smells and sounds.
If your pet has never been swimming before, ease them into the idea and never make them feel panicked or uncomfortable. Just as you would a child, don’t leave your pet around the pool unattended.