Summer Safety Tips For Pets
As the weather starts getting warmer, we all just want to spend the day outside in the sun. However, as temperatures rise, it’s important to keep our pet’s safety in mind and to be prepared. Here are some pet summer safety tips to help keep your dog cool, safe and comfortable this season.
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1. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water and shade.
Dogs pant to exchange warm air for cool air, but if the temperature outside is close to their body temperature, panting doesn’t cool them down. Before you leave the house, make sure your dog has a bowl full of fresh water. While on an adventure, bring enough water for you and your dog in a backpack. I like to have my car ready for adventures by stocking up on water bottles and keeping them in my trunk. Don’t forget to take breaks while on a hike or just out in the sun. Give your dog a chance to cool down in a shady spot and drink some water.
I love these collapsible dog bowls because they take up such a small amount of room in a backpack. They are perfect for adventures. You can purchase yours on Amazon here.
These Auto Dog Mugs from Highwave are amazing. You have everything you need in one place, the water and the bowl. All you do is squeeze the water bottle and the water rises and fills up in the bowl compartment. This is a great idea for road trips so you can give your dog water while on the road. You can purchase yours on Amazon here.
2. Avoid hot surfaces.
Heat rises from the ground and dogs absorb and release heat through their paws. Therefore, surfaces such as asphalt or cement on a hot day can easily burn your dogs paws. If Riley and I are going on a walk and I’m wearing sandals, I test the temperature by putting my bare foot on the asphalt. You can also test it by placing the palm of your hand on the surface. If it’s hot for you, it’s going to be even hotter for your pup.
Dog booties are also a great way to help protect your dogs paws. I tried dog booties for the snow to keep Riley’s paws safe and she was not having it. If your dog is a diva like Riley and won’t stand the booties, try to walk on less hot surfaces such as grass. If you think the booties will be a good fit for your dog, you can purchase them on Amazon here.
3. Try to avoid activities during the hottest parts of the day.
If it’s hot outside for you, it’s even hotter outside for your pet. Exercise your dog early in the morning or late in the evening. Since these are the cooler parts of the day, the walk will be more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
4. NEVER leave your dog in a hot car.
Even if you park in the shade or leave the windows cracked, cars can overheat quickly to deadly temperatures. Dr. Ernie Ward made a video about an experiment he made in order to raise awareness for pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in the car.
5. Recognize signs of heat stress.
Seek urgent veterinary care if you observe any of these symptoms:
- excessive panting
- abnormal gum and tongue color
- lack of coordination
- difficulty breathing
- stupor or collapse
- increased heart or respiratory rate
- mild weakness
- glazed eyes
6. Keep your pets cool at home.
Some people turn off the air conditioning when they leave the house for the day, but if you have a pet at home this could put them in real danger. Leave the air conditioner on, make sure your pet has fresh water and close the curtains to reduce the heat effect of sunlight going through the windows.
If your dog is anything like Riley, they LOVE water. However, it’s always better to be prepared and aware especially when it comes to our pet’s safety. Swimming is one of the best ways to beat the heat and it’s a such great exercise. So whether you have a pool in your backyard, or are heading to a lake or beach don’t forget to follow these pet safety tips as well.
7. Don’t leave your dog unsupervised around a pool.
Not all dogs are natural born swimmers, most of them lack the confidence to swim successfully. Don’t chance something going horribly wrong, and supervise your dog while they swim.
8. Rinse your dog off after swimming.
This will remove the salt from the ocean water or chlorine from the pool.
9. Try to keep your dog from drinking the beach, lake, or pool water.
Just like rinsing your dog off after they swim, don’t let your dog drink the dirty water. Be sure to have a bowl of fresh water where it’s accessible to them.
10. Be safe while swimming
You never know what’s in the water, especially in lakes and rivers. Glass shards or fishing hooks can slit your dog’s paw open. Riley and I know this from experience after we went kayaking in Georgetown, D.C. This would be another great idea to have the dog booties handy. You wouldn’t go barefoot in a river, it’s best to keep your pet’s paws safe as well.
Another unfortunate hazard about swimming in open waters are the numerous waterborne illnesses that can make your dog sick. Giardia, for example, is a microscopic parasite found in waters that contain feces. Now most of us wouldn’t let our dogs swim in the sewer, but unfortunately most lakes and rivers do contain some feces (I know… I ruined swimming for all of us).
If you live in the Northern Virginia area, I previously wrote a post about dog swimming facilities in the area. You can read about it here.
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