The warm weather and longer days invite us outdoors to enjoy the sunshine as the summer season approaches. However, it’s crucial to remember that our furry companions have specific needs and vulnerabilities during this time of the year. High temperatures, outdoor activities, and seasonal hazards can pose risks to their health and well-being. At Paws in the City, we’ve gathered some of our essential summer warnings for pet owners to prepare you for pet heat safety best this summer so you can provide an enjoyable season for your beloved companions.
1.Heatstroke and Dehydration:
The scorching summer heat can be hazardous for our pets. Dogs and cats are highly susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration, as they have limited means of regulating their body temperature. Ensure your pets have access to fresh water at all times, whether indoors or outdoors. If you have to take them outside, ensure your dog’s safety by avoiding the hottest hours of the day and providing shaded areas for them to rest. Be vigilant for signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, and vomiting, and seek veterinary assistance immediately if necessary. Remember keeping your pet healthy and safe is more important than taking your dogs in the sun for a walk or playing in the garden.
You can help keep your pets cool with some fun, easy, DIY homemade frozen treats, find some of your favorite recipes in our blog.
Hot pavement and sand can cause severe burns and blisters on your pet’s paws. Before heading out for a walk with your dogs in a heatwave, place your hand on the ground to check the temperature. If it feels uncomfortably hot, it’s likely too hot for your pet as well. Opt for early morning or late evening walks when surfaces have cooled down and it is a safe temperature for dogs. Alternatively, invest in pet booties or apply a pet-friendly paw balm to protect their paws from the heat. However, be mindful that if the ground is too hot for dogs to walk on then it is likely that the heat is at too dangerous a temperature for them to be exposed to and it’s probably not a safe dog walking temperature.
Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These pests can transmit various diseases, such as Lyme disease and heartworm. Talk to your veterinarian about appropriate preventive measures, such as topical treatments, oral medications, or vaccinations. Regularly inspect your pet for ticks after outdoor activities and promptly remove any you find. Additionally, maintain a clean-living environment by regularly washing bedding, vacuuming, and using flea control products as recommended.
Many pets enjoy a refreshing swim during the summer, but not all are natural swimmers. Never leave your pet unattended near pools, lakes, or the ocean, as accidents can happen quickly. If your pet accompanies you on a boat or dock, make sure they wear a properly fitted life jacket to keep your pet safe. Rinse your pet with fresh water after swimming to remove chlorine or salt water, as these can cause skin irritations if left on their fur.
5.Fireworks and Loud Noises:
With summer comes festive celebrations and fireworks. However, the loud noises and bright lights can be distressing for many pets, leading to anxiety and potential escape attempts. Create a safe space in your home where your pet can retreat, preferably in a soundproofed area. Consider using pheromone diffusers or playing calming music to help soothe their nerves. If you plan to attend outdoor events, leaving your pets at home in a quiet, secure environment is best.
6.Outdoor Exercise and Activity:
While it’s essential to keep your pets active, it’s crucial to be mindful of the heat and intensity of exercise during summer. Avoid rigorous exercise during peak temperatures, as it can quickly lead to overheating. Opt for early morning or late evening walks with your dog when the temperature is cooler. If you have an energetic dog, consider engaging them in mentally stimulating activities indoors, such as puzzle toys or training exercises.
If you plan to travel with your pet during the summer, take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety and comfort. Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car, even for a short period, as temperatures can soar rapidly, leading to heatstroke or even death. Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a properly fitted collar with updated identification tags. Carry essential supplies like water, food, medication, and comfort items to make the journey stress-free.
8.Barbecue and Picnic Hazards:
Summertime often means outdoor gatherings and delicious barbecues. However, certain foods commonly found at these events can be toxic to pets. Keep them away from chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, alcohol, and any foods containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol. Advise guests not to feed your pet any table scraps, as it can upset their stomachs or cause more severe health issues. Also, be cautious of bones, skewers, and other small items that can pose choking hazards or gastrointestinal blockages if ingested.
9.Garden and Plant Safety:
Many pet owners love gardening during the summer, but it’s essential to be aware of plants that can be toxic to animals. Lilies, azaleas, rhododendrons, and certain types of ferns are just a few examples of plants that can be harmful if ingested. Before planting new flowers or plants, research their safety for pets. Additionally, be cautious of using pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers in your garden, as they can be toxic if your pet comes into contact with them.
Just like humans, pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies. Common allergens during the summer include pollen, grass, and mould. Keep an eye out for symptoms like excessive scratching, red or irritated skin, watery eyes, or sneezing. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate course of action, which may include allergy testing, medication, or hypoallergenic diets.
Summer can be a delightful time for both pets and their owners, but it’s crucial to prioritise their safety and well-being. Following these essential summer warnings ensures that your furry companions remain happy, healthy, and protected throughout the season. Remember, being proactive and attentive to their needs will go a long way in creating a summer filled with joyful memories for both you and your beloved pets.