Summer is here! We think. Maybe. It’s supposed to be, but who knows with the weather these days? Anyway, once the June gloom lifts, we’ll see sunshine, warmth, and plenty of outdoor activity. As pet owners, it's essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of our beloved companions during this time. The scorching heat can pose various risks to pets, such as dehydration, heatstroke, and burns. In this blog post, we will explore some crucial tips and guidelines to ensure the safety of your pets in the summer months.
Just like humans, pets need to stay properly hydrated to beat the summer heat. Ensure that your pets always have access to fresh, clean water. Consider placing multiple water bowls in different areas of your home and yard to encourage them to drink regularly. If you're heading out for a walk or a day trip, carry water and a portable bowl for your pet. This way, you can provide them with hydration whenever needed.
BEWARE OF SCORCHING SURFACES
Pavements and asphalt can become scorching hot during the summer, causing severe burns to your pet's paws. Before taking your dog for a walk, test the ground with the back of your hand. If it feels too hot for you, it's too hot for your furry companion. Opt for walks during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, when the pavement is less likely to be scalding. Alternatively, consider investing in protective booties for your dog's paws.
PROVIDE SHADE AND VENTILATION
Creating a cool and comfortable environment for your pet is crucial during the summer. Ensure that your pets have access to shaded areas in your yard, whether it's under a tree or with the help of a sunshade or umbrella. If your pet spends most of their time indoors, keep the curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day to prevent excess heat from entering your home. Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Never, leave your pet in a parked car, even with the windows cracked, as the temperature can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.
be careful with exercise
While regular exercise is essential for your pet's well-being, it's crucial to be mindful of the intensity and duration of activities during hot summer days. Avoid rigorous exercise during peak hours and opt for shorter, more frequent walks instead. Consider taking your pet for a swim as a fun and refreshing way to keep them active without overheating. Remember to rinse off chlorine or saltwater after swimming, as it can irritate their skin.
watch for signs of heat stroke
Heatstroke is a severe condition that requires immediate attention. Be vigilant for symptoms such as excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these signs, move your pet to a cool area immediately, apply cool (not cold) water to their body, and contact your veterinarian right away.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER
As pet owners, it's our responsibility to keep our furry friends safe and comfortable during the summer months. By following these essential tips, you can ensure that your pets enjoy the season while avoiding the risks associated with excessive heat. Remember to prioritize hydration, provide shade and ventilation, avoid hot surfaces, exercise with caution, and be aware of the signs of heatstroke. With these precautions in place, you and your pets can have a joyful and worry-free summer together.
Our blog is managed by Ryan Hilary with additional contributions from the PAWS/LA team. Are you a member of our community and have a great idea for a post (or maybe want to write one yourself?). Reach out to Rhilary@pawsla.org.