Summer sure is a fun time, but the hot weather makes for some severe pet care challenges. When the temperatures soar, pet safety should be on top of your mind. Although wild animals adapt well to the elements, that’s not the case with companion animals who can be as susceptible to extreme heat much like their owners.
So, here are a few ways to stay safe while enjoying summer with your pet.
Keep in mind that humans aren’t the only ones that can find hot summer days unbearable. And unlike us, our pets have limited options to deal with the heat. While humans can sweat through the skin all over their body, dogs can only release body heat through their paw pads and by panting. Animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—cannot even pant as efficiently, and are thus more susceptible to heat stroke. Also at risk are pups, elderly or overweight pets and those with heart and lung disease.
Dehydration can be a big problem for pets during the hot weather. In the summer, make certain pets always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water. Prevent them from running around outdoors during the hottest times of the day.
One major pet safety issue in summer is the presence of ticks and other summer bugs. Not only can these transmit diseases, but the ways we use to ward them off can also cause problems to your pet’s health. Fertilizers and pesticides are great at keeping a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for you and your pet.
It’s better to keep the grass cut short where your pets play so as to reduce the presence of ticks and other bugs. Keep an eye out for fertilizer warnings on lawns and parks when taking your dog out. Discuss with your vet about the ways to protect your pet.
Some breeds, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can be susceptible to sunburn and may need sunscreen. Talk to your vet about the kind of sunscreen safe for your pet’s skin, and regularly apply sunscreen as part of your summer routine. Do not ever opt for sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals. Ingesting certain sunscreens can cause issues like vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, excessive thirst and exhaustion in pets.
As with other aspects of summer care for pets, water safety is all about taking precautions. Even though it may be fun to take your pet to the beach or poolside to stay cool together, it is essential to keep a close eye on your pet at all times, whether they’re in or even near the water. Even strong swimmers can find it difficult to get out of a pool or can get trapped by ropes and other obstacles. For riskier summer adventures with your pet – like boating, for instance, try getting a doggie life preserver.
Caring for pets isn’t hard, but just requires some thought and attention. Watch over your pet like you would a small child—protect them from too much sun, and other dangers—and everything will be just fine.
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