The heat is on this summer, and there are many dangers for your pet during this sizzling season. Summertime means cookouts, fireworks, celebrations, and swimming. And, while those things sound fun, our pets need us to keep them safe from some of the dangers associated with the heat and fun events of summer. Here are a few tips:

1. Keep cool. Preventing heatstroke is much easier than treating your pet once she falls victim to it.

  • Provide plenty of fresh water in bowls that can’t tip over.
  • Make sure your pet has access to shady spots while outside.
  • Brush your pet thoroughly to help remove the thick undercoat in double-coated dogs. Frequent grooming also prevents mats, which can trap heat or cause skin infections.
  • Freeze your dog’s toys. Put some treats or toys in a bowl filled with water (add a little low-sodium chicken broth to make it more enticing), stick it in the freezer, then watch your pup spend hours enjoying her chilly treat.
  • Cooling pads are wonderful mats designed to help keep your pet from overheating.
2. Choose summer-friendly outdoor activities that are safe for your pet.
  • Schedule walks in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are a little cooler.
  • Paddle in a baby pool. If your pooch loves water, get a little wading pool and let her take a quick dip in it to cool off.
  • Look out for warning signs of heatstroke. Excessive panting and drooling, bright red gums, difficulty breathing, and weakness can signal an impending heatstroke-related collapse.
  • Watch out for water. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs can swim. Keep an eye on your pooch if she decides to take a dip in a pool, pond, lake, river, or ocean. And, if your dog jumps into a swimming pool or ocean, be sure to rinse all of the chlorine or salt out of her fur afterward.
  • Avoid walking on hot pavement or sand at the beach. Those paw pads are pretty sensitive to being scorched. Consider staying on the grass or walking in the shade instead.
  • Leave your pet at home when you run errands. Even if the car is left running with the air conditioning cranked full blast, a dog can walk around and knock the control to off. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees within only 10 minutes.
3. Avoid inviting your pets to celebrations. Like people, not all pets are party animals. Some dogs and cats prefer to hide when company comes over, the music is rocking, or fireworks are blasting.
  • If your pet is not a fan of a full house, make sure she has a safe space where she can avoid company. Provide a long-lasting treat or other activity to help keep her occupied and content.
  • Fear of fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises is called noise aversion, a condition that affects one in three pets. Distracting your pet with games, treats, and chews is a great way to help comfort her during these scary situations. If your pet is to the point where she may harm herself or destroy the house, we can help choose an appropriate anti-anxiety medication to keep her calm without sedating her.
4. Protect against pests and poisons. Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and weeds all like to make their existence known in the summertime. Ask us about the best parasite prevention for your pet to make sure no diseases are spread and that no tagalongs come into your home and affect your human family members. Also, while weeds are popping up everywhere, keep an eye on your pet to prevent her from wandering into areas that have been recently treated with chemicals or fertilizers.

Summer is a wonderful time to get outdoors and revel in the sunshine with our pets. By taking precautions and practicing these tips, we can keep our furry friends safe from dehydration, heatstroke, parasites, or worse. Questions about keeping your pet safe during the summer? Call our office at 303-680-5050.