Who doesn’t love the sunny, warm days of summer? They’re delightful! But, keep in mind that more time spent outdoors in the heat and humidity can bring on a multitude of risks for pets. As the temperature rises, be mindful of these important safety concerns to help keep your pets safe all season long.
- The number one heat-related rule, and we’ve all heard this before, is never, ever leave your pet in the car unattended. Even if you park in the shade. Even if you leave the windows open. Even for just a few minutes. Just don’t do it. The temperature can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, and it’s even illegal in some states.
- If taking your dog for walks or playing outside, try to do so in the morning or evening when it may be cooler.
- Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, both of which can burn the pads on your dog’s paws.
- Provide ample shade for your pet, with tree shade and tarps being better options than doghouses. Your pet’s doghouse can actually trap heat rather than provide relief from it.
- Make sure your pet has plenty of cool, fresh water. This goes for drinking and, well, just sitting in it. Many lucky dogs love to take a quick dip in a child’s wading pool filled with clean, cool water. And if they are like my dog, they’ll drink it while they’re sitting in it. Multi-tasking at its best!
- Believe it or not, you can apply sunblock to your pet’s least hair-covered spots, which are ears, nose, and bellies on dogs, and ears and around eyes on cats. Make sure the sunblock is pet safe, such as epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen. Some typical sunblocks such as zinc oxide can be toxic to pets. And don’t cut your pet’s hair too short. Groomed pet hair, even if it’s long, helps regulate body temperature.
- Avoid exposure to harmful outdoor chemicals such as insecticides and fertilizers. You might not have these on your lawn or garden, but be aware that other lawns your pet walks past may have been treated.
- Keep citronella candles out of reach. Whether burning or not, these can be harmful to pets.
- Try to not let your dog drink seawater as the salt may make him sick. Ocean salt can also be damaging to your pet’s coat, so definitely give him a bath after a trip to the beach.
- Never use fireworks around pets. Lit fireworks can cause burns or trauma, and many fireworks contain potentially toxic chemicals.
- While your dog probably wouldn’t complain, you really shouldn’t let them share the BBQ food. People food could cause digestive issues for your pets so keep it out of their reach.
- Make sure your pet is properly treated with preventative flea, tick, and heartworm medicine. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes which carry heartworm disease are much more prevalent in the summer.
- While not technically “outdoors,” screens and windows can be a hazard if not maintained. Be careful that window screens are properly installed and unscreened windows are closed. When it’s hot, pets like to venture too close or lean on windows and could end up getting hurt.
For any questions regarding this article, please contact Heather Duffy at 732 832 7546.
Article and photo courtesy of Plymouth Rock Assurance.