9 Summer Safety Tips for Pets
Dogs and cats love the long summer days of exploring, playing in the sun, and lounging in the cool shade as much as we do. That being said, pets and heat can be a dangerous combination if we aren’t carful. Learn these summer safety tips for pets to keep your furry friend healthy and happy!
9 summer safety tips for pets:
- 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 them 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 prevent 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 much worse it is for your pet!
- 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 the risk of letting nasty bugs indoors.
- 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
One important thing to know about summer pet safety is the signs of heatstroke, which can rapidly become fatal in pets. 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 medical treatment immediately:
- Heavy panting
- Trouble standing or wobbly legs
- Thick drool
- Bright red gums
- Body temperature of over 103ºF