The sun is shining and the weather is warm. It's finally time to soak up some fun in the great outdoors. But wait! Hold your dog's leash (or cat’s… okay let’s normalize walking cats).
The summer heat can bring unique challenges for our four-legged buddies. But we’re not here to make you feel worried, rather prepared. We've gone and fetched some hot tips to keep your pet cool, safe, and happy by your side all summer long.
Dogs and cats need access to clean, fresh water at all times, but this is especially true during the summertime when they’re likely more active and more thirsty. Keep water throughout your home, and bring it on walks and outings.
In addition to water, you can give your dog or cat frozen treats or ice cubes to lick. Canned wet dog and cat food is generally more hydrating than dry food, so switching their mealtime up could be an easy way to get extra water into their diet.
Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car
Okay, we know this one gets talked about a lot, but that’s because it’s EXTRA important. One of the biggest dangers during the summer is the heat inside parked cars. Even with the windows down, temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels, putting your pet at risk of heatstroke or even death. If you need to run errands or go somewhere that doesn't allow pets, leave your pet at home where it is cool and safe.
Avoid the Hottest Parts of the Day
Sometimes avoiding your problems can work for you (this is one of those times). During the summer, the hottest parts of the day are typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Avoid strenuous exercise, and keep your pet in a cool, shaded area. If you do need to go out with your pet, make sure to bring water and take frequent breaks in the shade. If your pet typically stays outside, consider moving them indoors during heat waves.
Paws Off the Pavement
Asphalt and concrete become very hot during the summer, which can burn your pet’s paw pads. Avoid walking your pet on hot pavement or asphalt during the hottest parts of the day.
If you’re unsure, use the seven second rule. Touch the pavement with the back of your hand for seven seconds, if you can’t keep your hand to the pavement, it’s likely too hot to bring your dog out. Additionally you can consider using booties or paw wax to protect their paws.
Watch for Signs of Heatstroke
Bringing your pet to the beach? That’s a great thing to do and can be very memorable and fun, but keep a close eye for signs of heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that can occur when body temperature rises too high. Symptoms include excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool, shady area, provide water, and seek immediate veterinary attention.
Protect Your Pet from Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are more prevalent during the summer months, so it's important to take preventative steps before they appear. Use a flea and tick preventive medication recommended by your veterinarian, and regularly check for ticks throughout the summer.
The bottom line: The more you know, the more fun you can have safely. Boost your confidence and make the most of this summer by applying these helpful tips. Your next outdoor adventure is calling!