Summer is knocking on the door, bringing with it longer days, warmer temperatures, and plenty of sunshine.
Many can't wait for this season as it affords us the opportunity to spend much more time outside, enjoying activities that might be difficult or impossible in inclement weather.
While you may be excited about the prospect of the summer season, there is one member of your family who may not be as thrilled about the prospect of soaring temperatures. Some animals are simply not equipped to deal with the heat of summer, and it can be unpleasant, exhausting, and downright dangerous for them. In addition to this, there are some other elements of your pet's care that you may need to adapt during this part of the year.
To help you keep your pet safe and comfortable, here are some of our most valuable summer safety tips for your pet.
Provide Plenty of Fresh, Cool Water
Dehydration is one of the greatest risks that pets face during the summer months, so it is important to monitor how much your furbaby is drinking. Make sure you offer multiple dishes of cool, fresh water in different locations around your home or yard so that she never has to travel far in the heat to get a drink. Many owners place these water dishes on cooling mats or use ice cubes to keep them cooler for longer. If your pet isn't urinating regularly, it may be that she isn't drinking enough.
It may sound obvious, but if your pet spends a great deal of time outside, you need to make sure that you provide a shady area in your yard so that she can get out of the direct sunlight. This is especially important in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and temperatures reach their peak.
Keep Her Indoors
If it becomes unbearably hot, we strongly recommend that you keep your furry friend indoors and in the coolest room in the house. This is usually the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom since they tend to have tiled flooring which helps to keep temperatures down. Place your pet's bedding or a cooling pet pad to lie down on, and a dish of freshwater. Make sure the air is circulating too - open a window and use a fan to push the air around.
Buy Pet Sunscreen
All pets are at risk of sunscreen if they aren't properly protected, but if your furbaby is short-haired and has pink skin, her risk of being burnt is significantly higher. Keep her out of the direct sun in the middle of the day and invest in some pet sunscreen to keep her skin safe. Don't use sunscreen made for humans as these aren't safe for animals.
Be Mindful of Water Safety
Letting your pet cool off in the pool, a nearby river or the sea is a great idea - but you need to be mindful of her safety in the water. Whether she can swim or not it can be useful to purchase a life vest for her. The sea can be unpredictable, and rivers can have hidden dangers too, so it is better to be prepared by investing in a buoyancy aid for your precious pet.
Be Prepared to Change Your Walking Routine
If you have a dog, you undoubtedly take her out for a walk at least once each day. However, the rising temperature means that the sidewalks can get extremely hot during the day - potentially to the point where it is too hot for your pet's paws. Paw burns are a common reason for veterinary visits in the summer and can easily be avoided by changing your walking routine so that you go early in the morning or after the sun has set.
Be Careful with Summer Foods
Summer promises us the opportunity to indulge in a lot of delicious foods and drinks that we might not have at other times of the year and when we eat outside and sometimes leave leftovers out. These leftover foods and unattended drinks can be too tempting for our pets who will shoot out from nowhere and grab something before you even have time to react. Unfortunately, there are a number of primarily summer foods that are toxic to animals and could prove extremely dangerous if your pet consumes them. Some of the toxic summer foods for pets that you need to be aware of include onions, garlic, nuts, avocado (guacamole), undercooked meat, grapes and raisins, drinks containing alcohol or caffeine, and meat left on the bone. Make sure that these are firmly out of the reach of your furry friend.
If you would like more summer safety tips for your pet, our dedicated veterinary team is on hand to offer their support at Patton Chapel Animal Clinic. Contact our animal clinic in Hoover, AL today to get in touch with us at (205) 822-4779.