Summer months usually mean more time spent outside, for pet owners and their animal companions alike. The warm and sunny weather may be tempting for long walks and more adventures spent with your furry friend, but you have to be mindful of the dangers hot temperatures pose to your pet. With this checklist and the summer pet safety tips below, you can make sure the safety of your pet is not compromised and you can make the most out of the summertime!
Never leave your pet in the car!
Every year, an alarming number of people admit to leaving their dogs in a car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a vehicle rise quickly in the sun and can cause heat stroke for a pet left inside in as little as 15 minutes. Even if it is just a couple of minutes, never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle, and always provide water for them if you leave them waiting somewhere outside!
Avoid heat stroke or injury during walks
You should always check the temperature of the pavement when you plan on going on a walk with your pet. If it is hot to the touch you should avoid taking them outside, as it can burn their paws, causing them pain and injury. In fact, hot pavement suggests it is too hot to take your pet on walks anyway – as pets do not sweat like humans do, their body temperature can rise quickly causing them to overheat.
Having thick fur also makes your pet more vulnerable to the heat – you can help by giving them a trim, but be careful not to shave them, as direct sunlight on their skin can be dangerous for them. The best time to walk your pet in hot temperatures is early in the morning or later in the evening, when the temperatures are more bearable.
Provide plenty of water and shade
Pets who spend most of their time outside need plenty of water and shade to be able to cool off during the summer days. Consider bringing your pet inside on particularly hot days, or make sure there is always a place for them to retreat to for some shade.
Cats love warm temperatures and relaxing in the sun, but they are also prone to heatstroke, so watch out for them! When spending a prolonged time outside, use pet-proof sunscreen on sun-sensitive areas such as their ears, nose, and belly.
Signs of heatstroke
Always keep out for the symptoms of heatstroke and prepare to act quickly if your pet starts displaying them. Symptoms include excessive panting, weakness, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, lack of urine or fever. A dog with a hot and dry nose can suffer from fever or severe dehydration.
If you notice these signs, move your pet in a cool area, pour cool (but not too cold or iced) water over them or use cold water towels to cool them down. Be careful not to reduce their body temperature by too much. Once you stabilize their temperature, take your pet to the nearest vet as soon as possible, since they may be needing further assistance to avoid complications.
Other things to remember
A lot of dogs love to swim, but not all of them can swim well. Do not leave your dog unattended near a pool, as they may not be able to get out. Always pay attention to your dog’s behavior while swimming to avoid drowning due to exhaustion. Open or unscreened windows can also be dangerous for your pet, so make sure you close them if you leave your pet unattended in the house.
Timi is a content creator and animal lover, therefore she likes to put together different guides, articles, and other useful content for pets and their owners.