Summer is a fun time of year for many pets. Unfortunately, not everything about summer is safe and enjoyable for animals. During the summer, some animals can be affected by heat stress and other seasonal dangers. For pet owners, this is a time to be diligent about pet safety. The following tips will help you protect your pet at this joyful and exciting time of year.
Keep Your Pet Cool
Pets need to stay cool just as much as people, and like people, pets can be susceptible to heat-related illnesses. The following tips will help you keep your pet cool this summer:
- Keep your pet out of hot cars. Hot cars are deadly for pets. On a sunny summer afternoon, a hot parked car can reach temperatures as high as 172 degrees. Even on relatively cool days, cars can reach dangerously high temperatures. Never, ever leave your pet in a parked car. Your pet could be in danger even with the window cracked!
- Give your outdoor pet shelter. Your outdoor pet needs a sheltered place to go when the temperatures outside rise. Give your pet access to a place that is shaded and relatively cool. Remember that four-sided structures, like garden sheds, can get very hot. Air flow is important for keeping your pet safe.
- Provide your pet with adequate water. Pets can go through a lot of water when left alone on a hot summer day. In the heat of the summer, give your pet extra water or even two water dishes. Pets that have a tendency to knock over water dishes and pets that compete for water with other pets may need to have alternative water sources.
- Avoid pet exercise in the heat of the day. The best time to take your pet out for exercise on a hot summer day is in the early morning or evening, when the temperature outside is cool.
Know the Symptoms of Heat Illness
Cats and dogs experience many of the same signs of heat illness, including:
- Heavy panting
- Reddened gums and tongue
- Rapid pulse
- Lack of coordination or confusion
If your pet has been in extreme heat and is displaying these symptoms, contact your pet’s veterinarian right away. Keep the number for an emergency veterinarian on hand, just in case this happens after the vet’s usual hours.
Summer is a time of seasonal dangers. Some of the most common summer pet dangers include:
- Fertilizer, pesticide and other lawn chemicals: During the summer, pets often spend more time outdoors and in the garden shed, where they can get into lawn chemicals. Often these chemicals are toxic. Keep lawn chemicals up and away from your pet.
- Fireworks: Fireworks can scare pets and send them into a panic. Keep your pet in the house when setting off fireworks on your property.
- Travel dangers: Pets love to ride loose in cars and in the beds of trucks. This may be fun for your pet, but it can also be very dangerous. When taking your pet in a car or truck, secure your pet in a crate.
Have a Safe, Fun Summer!
At National Animal Supplement Council, we want your pet to be safe and happy this summer. As always, remember to feed your pet well. Good nutrition is important for animals! If you’re passionate about pet nutrition, join our organization today.