Increasingly we see folks going everywhere with their pets: in restaurants, on the airplane, and in grocery stores. But when the weather is hot, we need to take extra precautions to ensure the health and well-being of our precious fur babies as they travel with us. In summer, the hotter weather and unfamiliar outdoor situations may confuse our pets and put them at higher risk of injury. Here’s a list of pet safety tips to keep in mind as you include your pets in your outdoor fun.
- Never, never, never, leave your pet in a parked vehicle. The temperatures will soar much faster than expected and put your pet in danger of heatstroke.
- Be especially careful to keep your pet on a leash while traveling or while enjoying a new recreational area. Follow the leash laws, but in addition, choose to use the leash when there is any danger of pet runaway or unsafe
interaction with other animals.
- Provide lots of water for your animal in the summer months and keep it fresh. Plan to carry jugs of water for times when a faucet is not available.
- Have sunscreen available for your pet. Crazy at it sounds, your pet can be
sunburned on areas not protected by fur such as around the eyes, tips of ears, around mouth and on the nose.
- Groom your pet especially well in the summer. Remember that a shorter hair cut may be kind as overheating is a major issue in the summer months.
- Beware of toxins from a variety of chemicals found in puddles. When animals are hot, they’ll look for liquids and may unwittingly drink toxins such as garden chemicals.
- Exercise early in the morning or in the cooler evening during the hot summer months. Be sure to limit exercise in excessive heat and avoid hot surfaces that may burn your pet’s paws. Some pet owners purchase items such as cooling coats, thermos tents or cooling gel pads for pets when the temperature is high.
- Know the signs of heatstroke in animals. Excessive panting, staring, rapid heartbeat, vomiting or collapse may occur rapidly, necessitating a trip to the vet for IV fluids and medications. An ounce of prevention in providing water and shade from direct sunlight will keep this emergency from occurring. And if you suspect heatstroke, apply wet towels or ice packs to head, neck, chest and pour cool water over the body while getting to the vet.
- Take special care of your elderly pets in the warmer months. They, like their human counterparts are more fragile in their senior years.
- Provide safety for your pet near water. Strangely, although most animals can swim, they may become frightened or disoriented in unfamiliar places and can drown. If you spend a lot of time on or near water, you may want to consider providing a pet life vest for your pets.
Animals enjoy nothing more than being with their owners wherever the warmer months may take you. With a little forethought and care you can keep them safe, cool and happy.