Is the summer heat getting to you yet? We are nearing June, and the temperatures will continue to rise. It is necessary to adapt your pet’s routine this season. While celebrating with family, taking vacations, or hosting more pool parties, there are plenty of ways you can ensure your dog is safe in all of these environments. We want to share a list of pet safety tips to help your dog enjoy the summer with you and your loved ones.
Keep Your Pet Cool
If your dog mainly lives outdoors, they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion, dehydration, or a potential heat stroke. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can keep your pet cool:
- Consider using a mister to wet your pet gently.
- Offer a wet or cold blanket for your pet to lie on.
- Provide fresh drinking water and add ice to the bowl.
- Provide a kiddy pool and refresh the water as needed.
- Provide a shaded area, such as a large tree, canvas canopy, collapsible tent, or section on the patio.
You can also make pup-sicles! Do so by freezing your pet’s favorite treats or food in frozen water for a long afternoon treat.
Do Not Assume Your Pet Can “Doggie Paddle”
Families love taking their dogs to the beach or the pool, but only some pet owners give them swimming lessons. You can address this issue by:
- Prohibiting your pet from swimming unattended at the beach.
- Putting a floating device on your pet if you take them on a boat.
- Swimming with your dog and evaluating its capability to swim.
- Training your dog to get out of the pool, but never leave them unattended.
- Keeping floating objects out of the pool so they do not obstruct your pet’s ability to swim.
Help Prevent Dehydration
Dehydration occurs when our pets are overexposed to extreme heat and insufficient water is consumed throughout the day. As you enjoy the day, look for signs that your dog may be dehydrated. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Labored breathing
- Elevated heart rate
- Dry and sticky feeling gums (normal gums are slick and smooth to the touch).
As a reminder, always provide water for your pets while traveling, in public spaces, and at home, and never leave them in a car alone. If you have concerns about your pet’s health, do not hesitate to contact our veterinarians.
Provide Appropriate Exercise Time
Keeping your pet fit during the summer is just as important, but you must work around peak heat hours, usually from 11 AM to 4 PM. Here are some pointers to keep you and Fido fit and relaxed.
- Plan for breaks and cut your outings short if it is too hot outside.
- Follow the paw rule – if the street or sidewalk is too hot to touch on your bare palm, it is unsafe for your pet’s paws.
- Exercise your dog early in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Provide water access frequently before, during, and after exercising.
Keep Family Gatherings Pet-Friendly
Whether traveling or being outside more this season, bringing your pet along means added responsibility, here are a few ways to make every experience pet-friendly:
- Do not give your dog leftover bones, gristles, or fat from the meat you cook outdoors.
- Provide a safe enclosure for your pets during firework season, and keep them away from the hazardous chemicals in sparklers and other firecrackers.
- Keep human foods away from your pets at picnics, BBQs, and parties. This can include grapes, baked goods, and bread. Ask our veterinarians for a list of unsafe foods for your pet.
- Please keep your pets on a leash while outdoors or traveling, and ensure they have up-to-date ID tags. Consider microchipping your pet as well.
You can also ask our veterinarians about using sunscreen for dogs. Believe it or not, dogs with short or light-colored coats can get sunburned, so it is best to ask a veterinarian if this is an option for your fur baby.
Read More Online
Read our previous blogs after you’ve reviewed these important pet safety tips, for more ways you can make the summer a relaxing and fun time for your pet!
- Tips to Prevent Heatstroke in Pets
- How to Spot Possible Ear Infections
- Keep Your Pet Safe During the Hot Summer
- Hiking Guide: Tips for Summertime Dog Treks
Have Questions on these Pet Safety Tips?
Keeping your pet safe and healthy is essential this season, especially if you have a senior dog or pet. Our veterinarians at the Valley Animal Hospital are ready to serve your pets before and after your travels—call (956) 787-2709 to schedule an appointment today.