10 Great Tips for Keeping your Pet Safe This Summer

10 Great Tips for Keeping your Pet Safe This Summer

Summer picnics, hikes, road trips, and time at the beach—there are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful season. And it’s even more fun when your dog or cat joins in with you. Here are 10 tips for making sure your best buddy is not only having fun, but also safe and comfortable this summer. ---Peggy Frezon

  • a long-haired dog sits in front of a fan

    1. Create Cool Hidey-Spots

    Does your pet have a special place where they like to rest when it’s hot? Some dogs nap on tile floors. Cats curl up in the bathroom sink. Create shady spots, or make sure your pet has access to cool parts of the house. And when you go out, remember your pets inside—open windows or, if possible, keep fans/air conditioning running.  

  • a cat sticks his tongue out under a faucet of water

    2. Keep that Water Flowing

    The best thing you can do for your pet in the summer is to keep her hydrated. Dehydration is a serious risk for both cats and dogs. Keep bowls full of fresh, cold water at all times. When left outside, a heavy ceramic bowl is best—metal bowls get hot to the touch.

  • a dog on the beach sits under an umbrella

    3. Play Safe at Home

    Dogs love to play outside, but limit their time in the yard during extreme temperatures. Make sure there's shade. Also, ask your veterinarian about preventatives for backyard pests such as flea and ticks. 

  • a bulldog getting a trim

    4. Tame the Trimmers

    Think your shaggy dog could benefit from a summer haircut? It’s fine to trim your long-haired dog for the summer, but most pets shouldn’t be shaved down. Their fur coat is there for a reason. It actually helps prevent overheating, and protects their skin from sunburn.

  • pomeranian in yellow doggy booties

    5. Protect those Pretty Paws

    Ouch! Remember the discomfort of walking on hot pavement or hot sand at the beach? The same is true for dogs. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Walk on the grass, or get your dog some cute doggy boots.

  • dog on the grass

    6. Alter Exercise Times

    Keeping fit and healthy is just as important in the summer. Don’t skip those daily walks, but consider walking your dog in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler. 

  • a dog in sunshades hangs out of the driver's side window

    7. No Parking Anytime

    Did you know that even in the shade, even with window open, the temperature inside the car can be dangerous for your pet? According to the Humane Society, on an 85 degree day the temperature inside your vehicle can rise to 102 degrees in only ten minutes—and that’s with the windows cracked. Some states even have laws prohibiting leaving pets in hot cars. When traveling with your pet, never leave them in a hot car.

  • black lab with a bone

    8. Look Out at Cook Outs

    Dogs look cute when they beg, but some foods are dangerous for your dog. Raw pork, meat fat, and chicken skin can make your dog sick.  Dispose of all bones safely. And never give your dog corn cobs. The cob is indigestible, and large chunks may become lodged or cause dangerous intestinal obstructions.

  • a bulldog wears a life jacket at the pool

    9. Keep Fido Afloat

    Many dogs love the water, but not all dogs know how to swim. Use a doggy life-jacket in the water and on boats.

  • dog and a cat with a stethoscope

    10. Learn lifesaving techniques

    Both dogs and cats are subject to heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, agitation, lethargy, drooling, vomiting, and collapse. If your pet has symptoms, get him in the shade, offer water, cover with cold wet towels and bring her to the veterinarian immediately.

    *Peggy Frezon is author of books about pets, including Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Bond Between Us and the Animals We Love (October 2015).

     

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