Longer days, higher temperatures and increasingly more flip-flop sightings are all signs that the summer is quickly approaching. The summer season can be a fun-filled time for both you and your pets. From playing at the beach to lounging in your sunny backyard for the day, there are plenty of activities to keep you and your furry companions occupied for the next few months. However, the summer season also brings with it some dangers when it comes to your pets. Therefore, animal owners should be aware of the things they need to do to ensure both they and their pets have an enjoyable and safe summer.
Just like we did at the beginning of the winter last year, we have compiled another list of tips and tricks for caring for your pets in the summer. Thanks to our friends at North Shore Animal League America, we are able to provide you with all you need to ensure that you and your cat and/or dog have a fun and safe summer! Don’t forget to check out our Adopt Me section for the latest adoptable rescue pets from North Shore Animal League America, one of the premier animal rescues in the world.
Do not leave your pet in the car
As unfortunate as it is, pet owners continue to leave their pets in the cars while out-and-about. This is especially dangerous during the hot summer months, as cars can quickly heat up and become extremely uncomfortable for animals. This includes parking in the shade and leaving your windows slightly open, as even then cars can heat up shockingly fast. Leaving your pet in your car can lead to severe heat stroke and even death. Therefore, make sure you plan ahead if you are taking your pet on the road.
Keep the cool, clean water flowing
Just like people, dogs and cats drink significantly more water during the summer months. Due to the hot temperatures, they require extra fluid to keep their body temperature down and stay hydrated. Therefore, it is extremely important to freshen up your pet’s water dish several times a day and ensure that they always have access to fresh, cool water.
Not all dogs are swimmers
While some dogs love paddling around in the water, there are also plenty of dogs that have no desire to go for a dip. It is important for dog owners to recognize if their dog is not comfortable with going into the water.
If your dog does decide to go for a swim, you should never leave it unattended. In addition, after a day of swimming your pet’s fur should be thoroughly cleaned of any mud, dirt and/or chlorine. When using a pool, pet owners should be mindful of where extra pool chemicals are kept – as they can be deadly when consumed by animals.
Do not let your dog hang out of a moving car’s window
When driving along the road, it can be very hazardous for your dog to have its body sticking out the window. Seeing as there are often tree limbs, rocks and other obstructions on the side of the road, allowing your dog to stick its head out while driving can expose it to unnecessary dangers. To be safe, you should have your dog inside your vehicle when on the road. In addition, this can prevent your dog from accidently falling out or jumping out of the moving vehicle.
The back of a pick-up truck is not for pets
Another safety tip for pet owners to be mindful of is transporting their animals in the back of pick-up trucks. This is extremely dangerous, as pets can be thrown or jump out of the open space while the truck is moving.
Pets should be inside if there is an impending thunderstorm
If there is a thunderstorm warning in your area be sure to bring all of your animals inside. The loud noises of the storm can be particularly frightening for cats and dogs. In addition, leaving your pet outside during a thunderstorm puts them at risk of being struck by lightning.
Keep pets away from fireworks
Similar to thunderstorms, the noises associated with fireworks can be very frightening for dogs and cats. Therefore, you should avoid letting your pets out if there are fireworks nearby.
Get your dog checked for heartworms
A heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that is spread through mosquito bites. Unfortunately, the summer is mosquitoes’ favorite time of the year and therefore dogs are even more prone to contracting heartworms. Although they are more common in dogs, they have also been known to affect cats. There are various heartworm preventatives that can be bought and administered to your pet.
Give your pet a daily flea and tick check
Fleas and ticks are also a much more prevalent problem during the summer months. Therefore, it is important for pet owners to stay on top of things and check their pets daily for these small insects. There are various products on the market that can help protect your dog and/or cat from being affected by fleas/ticks.
Watch out for yellow jackets, bees, toads and snakes
During the summer months, lots of pets enjoy spending their time outside on the deck or in the yard. However, this exposes them to some of nature’s inherent dangers. Therefore, pet owners should be aware of their outside environment and familiarize themselves with insect/animal bite and sting symptoms – which include swelling and wrinkling of a pet’s skin.
If your pet does get bitten or stung, you should bring them to a vet as soon as possible. In severe cases, these bites/stings can result in death due to the toxins that infiltrate an animal’s body – ultimately leading to swelling and suffocation.
Know the signs of heat stress
Just like people, pets can fall victim to the sun’s heat. Pet owners should be aware of the common symptoms indicating their pet is distressed from too much exposure to the sun and/or extreme temperatures. Check for such symptoms such as: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tonnage and unconsciousness.
If your pet is overheating you should:
- Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
- Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck, and chest or immerse them in cool (not cold) water.
- Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
If you are aware of the dangers associated with the summer season and care for your pets accordingly, there is no reason why you can’t have a fun-filled, adventurous summer with your favorite furry friends!