Believe it or not, spring’s arrival is quickly wrapping up and summer is looming just around the corner. While most of us welcome the warmth, it’s important to remember our pets’ safety as things heat up!
Here are some tips to ensure you and your pet have a happy and safe summer together:
Never Leave A Pet In A Car Alone:
We’re all too familiar with video reels of good Samaritans breaking in windows to free dogs from hot cars. So why, with so much media attention, do owners continue to leave their pets alone in automobiles? Most often, people simply don’t realize just how dangerous the inside of a car can become for a pet, in just a matter of minutes.
According to AVMA, the temperature in a hot car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. After another 20 minutes, it becomes even 10 degrees warmer. So if it’s 80 degrees outside, and the interior of the car is already at 70 degrees, after just half an hour, your pet is in a 100-degree environment.
An independent study from The Louisiana Public Health Department breaks down what heat exposure looks like in an automobile, and demonstrates just how quickly a situation can turn deadly. While owners may believe cracking windows will solve for the quick heat escalation, no studies have shown that doing so offers any relief.
The bottom line – if you want to run errands with your furry friend, but you’ll be exiting the car multiple times, it’s best to leave your pet at home and run those errands solo. Your pup will thank you for it!
If Your Pet Is Outside, Make Sure They Have Shade & Water:
While we humans may enjoy a day of basking in the sun, we also understand the importance of protecting ourselves with sunscreen- but what about pets? They need protection, too. Make sure your pet has his own sunscreen applied if your summer plans include having him outside for an extended period of time. It might come as a surprise, but dogs are prone to skin cancer, especially of the ears and nose.
Always offer plenty of fresh water, and make sure your pet has access to a shaded area. You should never leave your pet unattended when outdoors, especially as the temperature rises.
If your dog joins you for regular runs- wonderful! Just remember that the summer heat can be dangerous for your dogs. Only run early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the stifling midday heat. Always check the pavement, road, or sidewalk you’ll be running on by placing your hand firmly on the ground. If it’s hot to the touch, it will be painful and potentially dangerous to your dog’s paws. Find an alternative path, or wait until the next morning.
Why reserve pools just for adults and kids? Purchase an inexpensive plastic pool and let your pup enjoy his own water fun. If your pet does get too warm, a small pool is just the place to cool off.
Know The Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion:
If your dog has symptoms such as: heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, or unstable legs; take action immediately. Get your pet out of the heat, and if a tub is available, immerse his body in cool (but not cold) water. If there isn’t a bathtub, drape a cool (but not cold) damp towel over his body, and re-wet as needed. Offer your pet fresh, cool water, and massage his legs to help with circulation. Call your veterinarian immediately.
Ensure ID Tags Are Current
Summertime means spending more time outside, and bringing our pets along to gatherings, restaurants, and events. We do our best to make sure we keep track of our pets, but sometimes they get lost in the mix. Make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date with your current phone number. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your information is up to date with the company it’s registered with. You can always ask your vet to scan the chip, just to make sure your information is current. When pets are missing, tags and microchips offer the best chance of them being reunited with their owners.
Don’t have tags or your pet microchipped? Check out Emancipet’s Tag It Tuesday and microchip programs here.
When it’s warm outside, conditions are perfect for increased bug activity. That means during the summer months, pets are subject to all kinds insect bites and infections. Make sure to use a flea treatment for your pet. Your vet can help determine which type of medication works best for your pet’s age and overall health. If your pet spends a lot of time outside during the summer, routinely bathe them and wash their bedding to ensure no flea friends have made their way inside.
Another pesky parasite is the tick. Ticks feed on the blood of animals and can be hard to detect on dark-coated pets, or pets with thick, dense coats. Frequent inspections that include combing your pet’s hair and checking their paws, will help you stay on top of any bites that may occur.
Mosquitoes are most concerning to pet owners because they can carry infected larvae which can turn into heartworms Heartworms can be detrimental to your pet’s health, and even deadly. Be sure to ask your vet about which heartworm preventive is best for your pet.
The summer is a time to celebrate beautiful weather (although sometimes it’s a little much for us Texas folks), try new outdoor activities, and include your pet in the fun. As long as you keep your furry friend’s health and safety top of mind, you’ll both shine this season!
For more helpful information on keeping your pet safe, be sure to check out Emancipet’s resource page.