9 Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets
Dogs and cats look forward to summer as much as we do. They love the long days of exploring, playing in the sun and lounging in the cool shade.
Follow these great summer safety tips to keep your pets healthy and protected all summer long!
- Never leave pets in cars, even “just for a few minutes”
The interior of a car can rise 40ºF in one hour, even on a relatively cool day. On a hot day, cars can reach 120ºF in just a few minutes – and cracking the windows does not stop the heat from increasing. In these conditions, pets can develop heatstroke and suffocate within minutes. Do not take any chances!
- Have plenty of fresh water
Keep plenty of fresh, cool water out and readily accessible to your pet all day and night. For outdoor pets, this means having a large water dish (or two) outside in a shady spot. If you’re taking your dog out with you for the day, bring a portable water dish and fill it up every time you stop.
- Walk dogs early in the morning or at dusk
Protect your pup’s paws by taking her on a walk first thing in the morning or at dusk. Walking dogs at any other time of day risks scalding their paws on hot asphalt, concrete or even sand. Dogs with thicker or darker coats are also at an increased risk of heatstroke when walking in the hot sun.
- Get fleas under control
Unfortunately, flea season is year-round here in San Diego. But since pets are outdoors more in the summer, their risk of contracting fleas is much higher. Give your cat or dog a high-quality flea treatment every 30 days to help stave off flea-related health problems like skin allergies, tapeworms and anemia.
- Go to the groomer
Schedule regular grooming appointments throughout the summer for dogs and cats with long or thick coats. Since they can’t sweat, they can’t effectively rid themselves of heat the same way we can. If you’re uncomfortably warm, imagine how miserable your pet is!
- Secure the screens
Most people have their windows and doors wide open in the summer. Check all window screens and screen doors in your home to ensure they’re properly fitted and fastened. Doing so keeps your pets safely inside, and also cuts down on nasty bugs.
- Strap on a life vest
If you’re thinking of taking your pup (or extremely adventurous cat) out on a boat, put them in a life vest. This will keep them afloat, safe and visible in case of an accident.
- Update all ID tags
Now that your pet is outside more often, be sure that you have new, visible ID tags on all of their collars that reflect your up-to-date contact information in case they become lost.
- Know the signs of heatstroke
Heatstroke in pets can rapidly become fatal. Knowing how to quickly identify the signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats will help save their lives. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, get them immediate medical treatment:
- Heavy panting
- Trouble standing or wobbly legs
- Thick drool
- Bright red gums
- Body temperature of over 103ºF
For the best tips on how to stay healthy this summer, be sure to bookmark Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles!