02 May Getting Ready for Summer—how to keep your pet safe in the heat
Now that summer temperatures are almost upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the health and safety of your pet. While it may not be beach weather yet, the rising temps of late spring and early summer can pose a hazard to your pooch if you don’t take the proper precautions. Below are a few tips on how you can get your pet ready for the summer and safe in the heat.
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
It’s important to know the signs of dehydration when it comes to pets. Does your pet’s gums feel tacky to the touch or their skin is slow to return to its natural position when you pull on it. Other signs of dehydration in your pet is lethargy and your pet’s eyes appearing sunken. In order to avoid dehydration, make sure you bring enough water for you and your pet with you wherever you go. Whether it’s on a walk, to the beach, or on a car ride, it’s important to have fresh, filtered water on hand and a portable dog bowl so your pet can have easy access to water. If you start to notice symptoms of dehydration in your pet, call your vet as they may need medical attention.
Walk Your Dog During Cooler Parts of the Day
As the days get longer, the afternoons get hotter. Try walking your pet in the early mornings or late evenings when the sun is not at its highest point in the sky. This way you can avoid any overheating and dehydration associated with having your dog exercise in extreme heat. When you do take them on walks, make sure to avoid hot pavement or sand that can burn their paws. Instead, opt for grass or dirt that is more likely to be cooler and easier for them to walk on.
Consider a Summer Shave—But Do Your Research
If your pet has a long coat that gets easily matted in the water, they shed a lot, or are just spending a lot of time outdoors, you may want to consider doing a summer shave. A lot of pet owners believe that cutting their pet’s long hair short in the summer months can help keep them cooler. This is true to a certain extent. There are also cons that come with shaving your dog’s hair in the summer including the fact that their fur provides natural protection from the sun, flies, and mosquitoes. Dogs also feel naturally protected with their fur and can sometimes be left feeling vulnerable without their coats. It’s a good idea to talk with your vet and groomer before committing to a summer shave.
Keep Your Pet Out of Your Car
You may have heard horror stories of pet owners leaving their pets in the car for a few minutes only to come back and find them in need of severe medical attention or worse. It should be a no-brainer to never leave your pet in the car, especially on hot days, but hundreds of people still do this every summer. Even if the temperature outside is spring-like or mild, and even if you leave the windows cracked, the temperature of a car can heat up rapidly in minutes and spike more than 40 degrees in under an hour.
The summer months are a great opportunity for you and your pet to soak up the sun and enjoy some time outdoors. Make sure you practice common sense and safety precautions to keep your pet healthy and happy this summer.