Depending on where you live, your pets may welcome the warmer weather, however, the summer heat can be dangerous. Make sure your pet's summer season is as fun and safe as possible with these very important Summer Safety Tips. Please feel free to share with your pet parent furends!
* Never Leave Your Pet(s) in Your Vehicle! Once parked, your vehicle can go from comfortable to a sweltering oven in no time. In a hot vehicle, your pet's temperature can also rise rapidly. It only takes minutes to reach dangerous levels leading to heatstroke and even death. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows open is NOT a good option. If you are running errands or going places where your pets are not allowed, please leave them at home.
* Be Mindful of Hot Pavement! Blacktop pavement and even concrete can cause serious burns on your pet's feet. The same applies to summer hikes when trails are exposed to the summer sun. Touch any surfaces with the palm of your hand before you let your dog walk on them. If it is uncomfortable to the touch, it will be uncomfortable for your dog, too. Consider getting booties for your dog to protect his paws from hot pavement and sharp objects on the hiking trails.
* Always Make Sure Your Pet Has Cool, Clean Water Available. Dogs, and even cats, drink more on hot days, and water warms up quickly. Add some ice cubes to their water dish to keep the water cool.
* Do Not Force Your Dog Into the Water if She is Frightened. Some dogs do not like to swim. If your dog likes to swim, do not leave her unattended. Bathe your dog afterward to remove all sand, mud, or chlorine. Also, be sure pool chemicals are stored safely out of reach of curious pets.
* Do Not Allow Your Dog to Hang Out of the Window of a Moving Vehicle. Objects such as insects, rocks, or tree limbs could seriously injure your pet, or he might fall or jump out if you are stopped or need to brake suddenly.
* Do Not Allow Your Animals to Ride in the Back of a Pick-Up Truck. They could be thrown out or they may jump out. Also, riding in the back of a pick-up truck is now illegal in many states. Our best advice is to be safe and just don't do it.
* Bring Your Pets Inside if There is the Possibility of a Thunderstorm. Loud thunder may frighten them or they could be struck by lightning. They may also become agitated and injure themselves while trying to get away from the loud booms. Please never leave your pets outdoors unattended or unsupervised unless you have an enclosed yard that is safe and protected from predators (including humans)! Even then, walk the yard frequently to check for any possible escape routes or hazards your pet might be exposed to.
* Do Not Walk Your Dog Near Fireworks. Besides the obvious danger, the loud noise can be very scary and may cause your dog to take off (with the leash still attached, which can also be dangerous) and become lost. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for shelters holding lost pets and trying to find their humans.
* Have Your Dog Checked for Heartworm and administer a breed-appropriate heartworm preventative. Be sure to do your homework as many pet meds can cause unwanted side effects or even death.
* Check Your Pets Daily for Fleas and Ticks. Talk to a veterinarian about preventing these pests from infesting your pet. Again, please do your homework! There are many wonderful natural, non-toxic remedies available to pet parents.
* If Your Pets Like to Relax in the Shade of a yard or deck, watch out for yellow jackets, bees, toads, and snakes. Bite or sting symptoms are usually swelling of the face or affected areas. Once stung or bitten, the pet’s skin may start to look wrinkly or bumpy. This is a first indicator and, if not treated by a veterinarian, could result in death due to toxins taking over and shutting down the animal’s body or causing airway swelling and suffocation.
* Know the Signs of Heat Stress. In these warm summer months, it is best to be aware of the signs of heat stress by exposure to extreme temperatures. Check for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.
If Your Pet is Overheating:
* Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
* Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet's head, neck, and chest, or immerse him in cool (not cold) water.
* Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
* Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.