Summertime is officially here! That means it’s time for BBQs, fun in the pool and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. However, the summer heat also creates some dangers to your furry family members. By having an understanding of some of the common risks summer weather can bring, you’ll ensure the safety of your pets. Explore 10 key factors to keeping your pets safe over the next few months, below:
- Never leave your pet in a hot car. Although it may seem like an obvious tip, sometimes it’s tempting to leave your dog in your car while you quickly run into a store or pump your gas. Unfortunately, our cars heat up extremely fast in the summer and put your pet at risk of overheating in just a few minutes. As a rule of thumb, if it’s higher than 70 degrees outside, leave your pet at home.
- Always ensure your pets have access to clean water during the summer months. As the weather warms up, it’s important to stay hydrated, whether they’re inside or outside.
- Ensure your pets have been microchipped and are always wearing their collars with identification tags attached. This will keep your pet better prepared in the event they’re spooked by a loud noise (like fireworks or outdoor music) and run off during the summer months.
- Keep an eye on the pavement! Before you take Fido on a super long walk this summer, be sure the blacktop you’re walking on isn’t a hazard to their paws. If the road is too warm for your hand to touch for more than a few seconds, plan to play fetch on the grass or think of an indoor activity, instead.
- Do you use pesticides and chemicals on your lawn regularly in the summertime? If so, opt for a pet friendly version if possible. This will help prevent your pets from becoming seriously ill if they eat the grass in your lawn.
- Leave your pets at home during July 4th fireworks! Did you know that the 4th of July is one of the most common days for dogs to become scared and run away from home? Prevent this from happening by leaving your pets at home as you celebrate the 4th.
- If you’ll be traveling with your dog this summer and exposing them to new environments that may make them nervous, consider investing in an anxiety vest (such as a ThunderShirt) or putting on soft music for your pet when you leave them in a new place (like a camp) for a few hours.
- Be sure you’re not over-exercising your pets in the hot weather. Dogs can experience heat stroke if they aren’t used to exerting extreme amounts of energy in the heat. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they’re not overdoing it! Signs of heat stroke can include wobbly walking, extreme panting and not being able to cool themselves down quickly.
- Although it’s tempting to give your pets some of the summer treats we love ourselves, it’s important to carefully read the ingredients of any human food you’re offering them. For example, some fruits such as grapes are tasty for humans but very dangerous for dogs to consume. When in doubt, stick to pet food only!
- Swimming is a fantastic summer activity for your dog! Keep a close eye on your dog while they enjoy the pool or the local lake to ensure they are staying safe.
Explore the Top 3 Dangers for Pets in the Summertime!
- Lyme Diseases + ticks: Maine is the #1 state in the country for cases of Lyme. Keep your pet safe by ensuring they’re treated for ticks and fleas, year-round.
- Fireworks: The 4th of July can be scary for lots of pets!
- Overheating: Make sure you provide your pet with plenty of rest after exercise in the hotter temperatures.
Ensure You’re Keeping Your Pets Safe this Summer
Do you have any questions about how to keep your pet safe in the summertime? Give our office a call and we would love to provide you with the information you need around tick and flea medicines and vaccines, and much more.
Sources: Hometown Veterinary Care, ASPCA, Animal Poison Control Center