Summer Pet Safety

Summer Pet Safety

Summer, what a wonderful time of year. The flowers are blooming, pools are opening, temperatures are high and the days are long. The positives seem to outweigh the negatives when it comes to this long season, but there are always some things we must keep our eye on during these hot months and one of them especially is our pets. Whether it be keeping your pet protected from the hot sun or making sure that they are properly protected during summer fun activities, the proper care for your dog or cat is always crucial during this time of year.

One big aspect of summer of which we must keep a close eye on is the heat. Our pets can become overheated and sunburnt as easily as we can, and not to mention, their paw pads can also get easily burnt during this time of year. Here are some tips and guidelines to follow to ensure your pet is kept safe and cool.

Heatstroke

  • If your pet exhibits these symptoms seek shade or an air conditioned area and get medical help immediately:
    • Heavy panting
    • Glazed eyes
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Excessive thirst
    • Lethargy
    • Fever
    • Dizziness
    • Lack of coordination
    • Profuse salivation
    • Vomiting
    • Deep red or purple tongue
    • Seizure
    • Unconsciousness
  • If your pet is very old or young, overweight or has heart or respiratory disease they more are at risk of heatstroke
  • Certain breeds of cats and dogs have a harder time breathing in heat due to short snouts, and because of this may also be more at risk

Sun Safety

  • Cats and dogs can get sunburns just like you and I can
  • Hairless, short-hair breeds, and animals with white coats are the most susceptible to sun burns
  • Always be sure to use a pet-friendly sunscreen on your animal before going outside for long periods of time
  • You can get animal friendly sunscreen at these websites:
  • The most important parts of your pet to make sure you cover with sunscreen are: the bridge of the nose, belly, and ear tips

Paw Protection

  • During the summer’s high temperatures, the sidewalks and pavement can become extremely hot due to its ability to trap heat
  • If your pet walks in these conditions they could severely burn their paw pads
  • Signs of burnt pads are:
    • Limping or refusing to walk
    • Licking or chewing feet
    • Pads darker in color
    • Missing parts of the pad
    • Blisters or redness
  • Be sure to moisturize your pet’s paws on a daily basis either with Vaseline or special paw pad balm or cream
  • Another way to protect your animal’s paws is by walking them early in the morning or later at night when temperatures aren’t as high
  • Walking them in the grass is another way to ensure paw pads will be protected

Another aspect of summer time everyone loves is all of the various summer time activities of course. So, along with heat protection we must also be cautious in different ways for different activities such as swimming and hiking.

Pet Water Safety

  • Sadly, an estimated 5,000 dogs drown per year, therefore, they are no less likely to drown than humans are
  • Always be sure to have an animal-friendly life vest for your pet before letting them go into the water
  • Also, make sure that the life vest is just the right fit for the animal before letting them swim freely in it or it could malfunction
  • Fortunately, these lifejackets are sold just about anywhere, so they are easily attainable and won’t cost you a fortune

Flea and Tick Prevention

  • Going for long walks or hikes increases your pets chances of getting fleas and/or ticks, but luckily this is easily prevented
  • Just make sure to keep your pet up to date on flea and tick preventatives and they should be good to go
  • Some great preventatives are:
    • Frontline plus
    • Bravecto
    • NexGard
  • To be safe, have a flea comb and medicated shampoo on hand in the event that your animal does get fleas

Among other summer holidays, the fourth of July is one of the biggest celebrations of the season. Unfortunately, this holiday also happens to be the biggest day of the year for pets to go missing or becoming ill for various reasons. While you can be sure to take part in the day long excitement and festivities, here are some tips to ensure your pet’s safety while you are away on the fourth:

  • Keep your pet indoor at all times and do not take them to any firework displays
    • Due to the fact that panic may be caused by fireworks being shot off this could very likely lead to them escaping a leash or fence in an attempt to find safety
  • Make sure to have your pet properly identified prior to this day whether it be by microchip or an updated ID tag
  • Give them a safe space in your home, a place where they feel as secure as possible such as a kennel, closet, bathroom, etc.
  • Certain aromas like lavender can help to calm your pet if they are frightened by fireworks
  • Walking your animal 1 to 2 hours before dusk or earlier in the day will help to tire them out so that they hopefully sleep through all the loud noises rather than panicking through them
  • Leave a calming sound on for them to drown out the noise of fireworks, like music or TV
  • If you can spare the festivities, your calm presence with your dog or cat could also help in calming them
  • If you don’t mind spending a little money, calming collars and Thundershirts are also a good option in trying to keep your animal calm throughout this day
  • Always be sure to keep certain toxic items away from your pet at all times such as:
    • Insect repellants (unless pet-friendly)
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Glow jewelry
  • If they do ingest any of these items call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435, or your vet and seek medical attention immediately

Thank you to St. Charles Hyundai for helping spread the word about pet safety and the importance of not leaving your pet in a hot car.