Summer is in full swing, the weather is hot, and the days are long. Besides our own hydration and wellness, are you making sure your animal companions have what it takes to be safe in the summer months? Here are some absolute musts to make sure your pets are healthy and well, all summer long.
- Never, ever leave your dog/cat/mouse/anything in a shut car. Countless animals die this way every year as cars turn into a small oven in just a matter of minutes when sitting in the summer sun. Leave your animals at home if you plan on stopping at any stores or restaurants during your excursion… they will enjoy the coolness of your home much more than sitting in an unattended car anyways!
- Always make sure your animal has adequate hydration. There is a significant difference in the amount of water my dogs need in the summer vs. in the winter. Especially while hiking or hanging out with your dogs in the backyard, make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water. If possible, let your dogs go into a near-by clean stream, lake, or any body of water… it’s a lot of fun for them and gives them an instant cool-down and boost of energy!
- When walking your dogs, especially in cities where there is a lot of concrete pavement, be aware of how hot the ground is. Try to walk your dogs in the shade or on the grass, as concrete can get hot enough to blister and burn your dog’s paws. If necessary, you can get little booties for your dog so they have a layer of fabric between the ground and their paws.
- Beware of barbeques! It is easy to lose track of pets when you are entertaining company and having drinks and food in the backyard. Supervise how many “treats” your dog is getting from guests, and let everyone know when they arrive that they need to ask before they give the dog any people food. Too much human food can wreak havoc on a dog’s stomach, and certain foods can even lead to poisoning and serious complications.
- Keep your animals up-to-date with their flea and tick medicine. Tick season is in full swing, and there are a number of nasty diseases they can catch from a tick bite. Paying the small amount of money for Frontline now will save you a hefty vet bill in the future!
- Be careful around fire. We never let our dogs into the yard when our tiki torches are lit, just in case they get a little wild and knock one over. Similarly, a fire pit is more controllable, but keep an eye on your dog’s proximity to it at all times!
Make sure to stay vigilant in the summer time. If your dog exhibits signs of dehydration or heat stroke like heavy panting, fatigue, and a hot, dry, nose, make sure to get them plenty of water, get them out of the heat, and if you have any doubt, bring them to a vet. Don’t let your pet be unsupervised in the sun for long periods of time, so that you and your animal friends can stay happy this summer and into the fall and winter!