The long, hot days of summer can take a toll on everyone, including our animal friends. As the temperatures rise, it’s important to understand how to protect your pet from heat, humidity, and intense UV. In areas that are prone to occasional power outages, this can become a dangerous mix.
Summer, however, is also a great time to get out and enjoy fresh air and sunny days with your four-legged friend. That said, the team at East Sacramento Veterinary Center is here to provide some tips on keeping your pet safe during the summer.
The Basics of Summer Pet Safety
There are few key elements of summer safety that can be implemented by any pet owner. Using some caution, you can continue to exercise, play, and enjoy some relaxation outdoors with your best friend. Keeping your pet cool is a matter of following these simple tips.
- Provide a cool indoor environment. Maintain a good indoor temperature, even while you are away, if your pet is home. If you don’t have air conditioning, then use several fans and, if there is a breeze, consider opening windows (as long as the screens are secure). Monitor the indoor temperature using your smartphone to alert you to times when the temp is too hot inside for your pet.
- Never leave your pet in the car. It doesn’t matter if you will only be away for a minute, leaving a pet in the car is very dangerous. Temperatures in the car can soar within a matter of minutes, even in the shade and with the windows cracked. Most states, including California, have laws against leaving pets in a parked car. Never take a chance on your pet’s life.
- Avoid exercise and playtime during hot times of day. Switch your pet’s daily outdoor walk, jog, or other activity to early mornings or later in the evening. Even during the summer, a pet’s exercise needs cannot be ignored, but there are ways you can adjust the routine. On very hot or humid days, opt for some indoor games instead, like fetch using something soft like a Nerf ball or tug-of-war.
- Keep shade and water available. If you play in the yard with your pet, make sure you keep several bowls of water around and some shade. If you don’t have trees for cover, consider buying some sail-type shades or other pop-up options. Make sure to bring water with you for your pet when you travel in the car or on foot.
- Give your pet frozen snacks. Make up some homemade pupsicles, like these frozen banana bites. Freeze a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. Put several ice cubes in water bowls for a cool drink for your furry friend.
- Buy a sprinkler or kiddie pool. Many dogs love to splash around in water when it’s warm outside. Fill up a kiddie pool on hot days for them to run through, or buy a sprinkler for your dog. If you have a pool, teach your pet to swim and enjoy the time with them. As with any water, supervise your pet when they are in a pool, even if it is shallow. Never leave your pet in a body of water or on the beach without your oversight.
Keeping Your Pet Safe During Summer
Millions of pets are affected by heat stroke and warm weather related emergencies. It’s important to know the signs of overheating or heatstroke in pets, such as:
- Glazed eyes
- Red or purple tongue
- Hot to the touch
- Difficulty breathing
These symptoms mean a veterinary emergency. Call is right away on next steps, while you get your pet cooled down with cool (not cold) damp towels and air conditioning.
Would you like more tips on keeping your pet safe during the summer? Please contact us. Have fun and stay safe out there!