21 Jul Steps to Ensure Summer Pet Safety
Summer is a great time of year. We get to spend time relaxing with our friends and family. And yes, that includes our four-legged family members! As the summer heat rises, it is important to know that temperatures impact our pets differently. Luckily, there are some simple summer pet safety solutions that will help ensure we all get to enjoy the summer sun!
Pet Safety Around the Yard
One summer staple if the family cookout. As friends and family gather in the backyard, kick off their shoes and relax, remember that our pets, in particular, dogs, are staring at a few extra folks looking for some treats!
Fortunately, Petfinder provides a neat infographic to provide some pet safety tips during your next cookout.
But cookouts are just one type of trouble that pets can get into during the summer. For many homeowners, gardening is another summer hobby. Pets can create some damage to your garden and themselves, so here are a few ways to pet-proof your yard!
- Create a fenced-in area for your dog where he/she can play with its toys and enjoy treats.
- Make a sandbox for your dog.
- Leave water outside for your dog.
- Naturally discourage cats from the garden by sprinkling red pepper flakes around the perimeter.
- Plant rosemary around the garden to repel cats.
Summer Pet Safety Tips
In general, there are some basic things that all pet owners should know during the summer. To ensure pet safety, then here are some essentials.
- Never leave pets in a parked car
As the pet experts at the Human Society explain:
“Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.”
- Watch the humidity
As Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association notes:
“It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”
- Provide plenty of water and shade
Always be on the lookout for the telltale signs of dehydration in pets, which include dry gums, loss of skin elasticity, excessive drooling. To avoid dehydration, give pets plenty of playtime breaks in the shade with access to fresh water.
- Limit exercise on hazy, hot, humid days
Take walks during the cooler hours of the day. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.
- Keep paws cool
If you did not know, then dogs sweat through their paws. Take this into consideration when going on walks (even in cooler hours) and attempt to keep pets off of hot asphalt. Not only can the temperatures burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating.
Preventative Pet Safety Steps
Like our homes, there are also preventative measures to take to ensure pet safety.
- Use sunscreen
Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. Sunburns are painful for us and painful for dogs. If your pet spends a lot of time outside, then talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your dog (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).
- Beware of parasites
In the summer, hookworms and heartworms are more prevalent and infect pets through their feet. Take precaution and ask your vet for prescriptions to ensure your pet remains safe this summer.
- Find pet-friendly insect repellents
Another simple pet safety precaution is finding the right kind of insect repellent. Insects are annoying and irritating to us, and the same goes for our pets. Standard insect repellent may not be suitable for our pets, so find a pet-friendly product.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
To help, move pets into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Also apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Plus, let pets drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Finally, if signs persist, take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
We hope everyone has a happy and healthy summer. It is a time to enjoy our friends and family, which obviously includes our four-legged favorites. At Snappy, we take pride in our work to help homeowners take care of their homes. We hope to take some stress off you, so you can enjoy your homes, families and yes, pets!
If you have any home issues that are preventing pet safety, then let us know. We are here 24/7 to keep those ACs running all summer long.