Summer Heat Is Coming, Keep Your Pet Safe

Summertime is quickly approaching. It is time to start thinking about keeping your pets safe in the heat. As the temperature heats up, news reports about animals left in hot cars begin to pop up. With the rise in temperature, many airlines won't transport animals in the summer months, and even in decent weather will not transport animals to airports like Palm Springs or Phoenix due to the excessive temperatures on the tarmac. Please keep that in mind when planning summer vacations with your pet. 

Summertime is a great time to have a pet. The daylight lasts longer, allowing you more time to bond with your pet. More people are active in the summer, and if you take just a couple of precautions, your pet can be included safely. 

Tips for Keeping Your Pets Cool in the Summer Heat

  1. Don't leave your pets unattended in a locked car
  2. When walking your pet, try to do it in the cooler hours of the morning or evening
  3. Always have plenty of fresh water available
  4. If you go out with your pet, bring water with you
  5. If your pet is an outdoor pet, provide shade or shelter
  6. Be careful of hot asphalt or trails, do the barefoot test: Place your bare hand or foot on the surface for 5 seconds. If it is uncomfortable to you, it is too hot for your pet, they can burn their foot pads
  7. Don't over exercise your pet. Many pets will continue to run or play fetch long after they have overheated, they don't know their limits. Again, wait till the cooler hours to toss a ball in the yard
  8. If your pet can swim, let them take a dip in the pool, or if on a hike, choose a location that has a stream or lake to cool off your pet
  9. Consider getting a plastic pool for the yard to help your pet cool off
  10. If you walk, hike, camp, or run with your dog in the summer, consider getting them a cooling vest
  11. All animals can overheat or get sunburned. But be aware that darker furred animals will get hot faster, and animals with lighter fur or hairless can burn faster.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion to Look For:
  1. Heavy panting
  2. Excessive drooling
  3. Lying down, frequent breaks, less responsive to commands
  4. Labored breathing
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Lethargy
  7. Diarrhea and/or vomiting

Certain dogs are more prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Puppies and seniors, brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds, over weight dogs, heavy coated dogs, and dogs with other risk factors like heart or lung disease all require more care in the heat.

Also be aware that it may be a good idea to use sunscreen on your dog. Noses, heads, and spines are all prone to burning in the sun.

Other Summertime Considerations

  1. Check your dog for fleas and ticks. Summertime is tick season. It is a great idea to use flea and tick prevention on all your pets and to check your pet (and you!)  thoroughly for ticks when returning home
  2. Do not use glass water bowls outdoors.  They can act like a magnifying glass, and if on a wooden deck, can start a fire
  3. Always have fresh water available
  4. If using the BBQ in the backyard, be aware that all surfaces will get hot and could burn an animal passing by, or be knocked over by a dog playing fetch
  5. Check your pet for foxtails. They can become embedded in your pet and require surgery to remove
  6. If you have a water loving dog, take good care of their ears. Ear infections are caused by trapped water in the ear. Dry them thoroughly and consider talking with your vet about ear cleaning products
  7. It is rattlesnake season. Always be on the look out when hiking, and always keep your pet close to you, don't allow them to he'd off trail. If your pet is bitten, seek veterinary care ASAP
  8. Do not leave pets unattended around a pool
  9. If you must be out with your pet on hot days, boots can protect their paws from burning

These service dogs wear boots during hot days

These dogs are wearing cooling vests and hiking early in the morning to beat the heat
Dock diving or swimming are great summertime activities for your dog

We hope this post encourages you to get out and enjoy the summer months with your pet. With just a few extra steps, you can enjoy the great outdoors with your pet and have fun all summer long! Thanks for reading, and if you found this useful, please share with your friends!