Summer is the time to enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend, but it’s important to take some precautions to keep them safe and healthy.
Here are 13 tips on how to do just that! From protecting them from the sun and heat to keeping an eye out for insects, read on for everything you need to know about keeping your pet happy and safe this summer.
Summer Pet Safety Tips to Keep Your Furry Friend Cool
Summertime is a great time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather, but it’s important to take extra steps to keep your pet safe during the hotter months. You can help your pet stay cool and comfortable all summer long with a few simple precautions.
Keep Them Hydrated
Like humans, pets need to stay well-hydrated during hot summer. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet at all times, and consider investing in a pet water fountain or sprinkler toy to help keep them cool and entertained during a hot day.
Be Considerate of Our Feline Friends
For cats, considerate care is particularly important since their small size and free-roaming habits can create unique challenges regarding summer safety. Be sure to provide plenty of shady spots for them, inside and out, and access to plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on them as they explore outside, so you can intervene if needed.
Cats love curling up in sunbeams, but that can be dangerous on hot days – instead, spritz them with mister bottles or fans if they want to bask in the sun.
Fleas and ticks are more common in the warmer months. It’s important to prevent parasites before they become a problem. Talk to your veterinarian about the best parasite prevention options for your pet, and check them regularly for fleas and ticks.
Beware of Summer Scavengers
Keep an eye on your pet outdoors. Birds of prey, coyotes and other wildlife are more active in summer. If you live in an area with known wildlife activity, consider keeping your pet on a leash or in a fenced-in area when they’re outside.
Like humans, pets can suffer heat stroke if overexposed to heat or become dehydrated. Signs of heatstroke include panting, excessive thirst, lethargy, and vomiting.
If you suspect your pet suffers from heatstroke, move them to a cool area immediately and call your veterinarian for further instructions.
Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car!
This one should go without saying, but unfortunately, there are reports of dogs dying from being left in hot cars every year. The temperature inside a car can reach extreme heat in just minutes, even with the windows cracked open. So please don’t take the risk—leave your dog at home if you’re going somewhere that they can’t come with you.
Keep Your Pet Cool
One of the most important things you can do for your pet in the summertime is to ensure they don’t overheat. Dogs and cats can only cool themselves down by panting and sweating through their paw pads, so it’s important to provide them with extra help.
Try to keep your pet indoors in a cool, air-conditioned area. If they must be outdoors, ensure they have access to shady areas and plenty of fresh water. Avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day. If you need to walk, consider early morning or stick to cooler, shady routes and bring along some water for them to drink.
Protect Your Pet From Sunburn
Like us, our pets can get sunburned if exposed to too much direct sunlight. Pets with light-coloured fur are especially susceptible, so apply a pet-safe sunscreen before taking them outdoors for extended periods.
Be Careful With Pool Chemicals & Lawn Fertilisers
If you have a pool or hot tub in your backyard, it’s important to take precautions so your pet doesn’t accidentally ingest any harmful chemicals. Be sure to store all pool chemicals in a secure location where your pet can’t reach them, and don’t use any products that contain harmful ingredients like insecticides or herbicides around your home or yard. Lawn fertiliser can also be harmful if ingested by pets, so it’s best to keep them away from areas treated with fertiliser until they have had a chance to soak into the soil.
Protect Your Pet From Insect Stings
Be on the lookout for insect stings and bites, which can be painful and even dangerous for your pet if they’re allergic. Avoid areas with high concentrations of insects, and if your pet gets stung, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Avoid Hot Pavement
Pavement can get incredibly hot during the summer months, making it painful for your pet’s feet to walk on. Avoid walking your pet during the hottest hours of the day, or opt for a grassy area instead. Put your hand on the pavement for a quick test – if it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on, it’s too hot for your pet to walk on.
Avoid Midday Exercise
During the summer months, early morning or evening exercise is ideal for your pet’s health as it will ensure that they don’t overheat. The hottest part of the day is typically between 12 and 3 pm, which makes midday exercise less ideal for your pet.
It is especially true in areas where the temperature rises to dangerous levels. If you decide to take your pet out during this time, plan breaks in a well-shaded area with plenty of water to help prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Hot Weather Can Affect Medications
Animals can be affected by medications in hot weather. Some medications may make it harder for them to sweat, which could lead to overheating. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about how hot weather affects your pet’s medication regimen.
Bonus Proactive Tip: Get Pet Insurance
One of the best ways to protect your furry friends is by being proactive about safeguarding their wellbeing. One such precaution is to purchase pet insurance before it ever needs it. Purchasing pet insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that you can provide quality care for your pet during the summer months while also helping to manage any unforeseen financial costs associated with treating a medical condition or injury down the road.
How to Help an Overheating Animal
When temperatures outside rise, animals can become overheated. Animals don’t sweat as we do, so they can’t cool themselves off as efficiently. As a result, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of overheating in animals. If you suspect an animal is overheating, here are some emergency actions you can take to help.
Get the Animal Out of the Heat as Quickly as Possible
If the animal is outdoors, bring them inside or into the shade. If they are in a parked car, get them out of the car and into the shade or air conditioning if possible. Hot pavement can also burn an animal’s paws, so if you suspect they may have been standing on hot pavement, carefully pick them up and carry them to a cooler surface.
Begin Cooling the Animal Down Gradually
If your animal’s body temperature rises quickly, cooler temperatures must be introduced slowly to avoid shock. Start by wetting the animal’s fur with cool water (not cold) or a wet towel, and then begin fanning them gently with a piece of cardboard or your hand. You can also place ice packs on their neck or groin area, which will help to lower their core body temperature.
Never Use Ice Water or Immerse an Overheated Animal in Cold Water
When dealing with an overheated animal, the best thing to do is to try and reduce the core body temperature to avoid potential medical emergencies. Never use ice water or immerse an overheating animal in cold water. Extremely cold temperatures can cause shock and make it worse. Slowly cool your pet down in a comfortable environment.
Take the Animal to a Veterinarian as Soon as Possible
Even if you have taken all of the necessary steps to cool the animal down yourself, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a professional take a look to make sure there are no serious health concerns.
Final Thoughts for Pet Owners on Keeping Your Pet Healthy During the Summer Heat
As a pet owner, you must do everything possible to keep your furry friend safe and happy during the summer months. By following these 13 tips, you can rest assured that your pet is enjoying the summer just as much as you are.
If you have any questions or want more information on keeping your pet healthy and safe during the summer, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
About Matraville Veterinary Practice
Your pet isn’t just an animal to you but a family member. We care for all creatures, great and small – as if they were our family. At Matraville Veterinary Practice, we’re here to ensure your furry (and not so furry) loved ones have a long, happy, healthy life.
With our large team of friendly, dedicated staff, we’ll take care of your pet’s every need.