Summer fun is a great time to make memories with your family and pets as you enjoy time outside after a long winter indoors. However, many experts predict that much of the country will see warmer-than-usual weather this year, making it important that you take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones when spending time outside under the summer sun. It is particularly important that you take steps to protect your pets, who will be particularly vulnerable this summer and may become overheated, dehydrated, and even sunburnt without you realizing it. To help you keep your furry friends safe, follow these tips so that you can have the most fun possible as summer temperatures rise.
Don’t Leave Pets in a Car
Never leave pets in hot cars, no matter how long. While it may be tempting to leave your pet in the car for a few minutes while you run into the store, this can prove deadly. The inside temperature of a car can quickly exceed 120 degrees even with the windows cracked open. In these conditions, your furry friend could develop heat stroke in less than ten minutes. If you can, your best option is to leave your pet in the car with the AC running. Otherwise, take your pet in with you or leave them at home.
Plan Walks Carefully
If you have a dog, they probably love going on walks. However, during the summer, it is critical that you limit exercise during high temps and only walk your dog in the early morning and late evening hours when it’s cooler. Additionally, check the temperature of the sidewalks before you go out and put booties on your pup’s sensitive paws if the ground is hot. You should also make sure that you bring water for your dog so that they stay hydrated on your walk.
Keep Pets Hydrated
While your pets should always have access to water both inside your home and out in the backyard, this is particularly important during the heat of summer. Your pets can get dehydrated easily in the summer heat, particularly when they are playing outside, making it important that you provide access to plenty of cool water as well as a shady spot for them to lie when they are playing outside. Frozen treats and toys can also provide a great way for your pets to cool down when they’ve been playing on a hot summer day.
When you are traveling or out for a walk, make sure that you bring water for your dog and offer it to them at regular intervals. Bringing a collapsible dog bowl can help ensure that your dog can get hydrated, as it can be difficult to get a dog to drink from a water bottle.
Know The Signs of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a common problem for pets in the summer, particularly for dogs with shorter noses, thick coats, or those who are overweight. It is then important that you know the signs of heat stroke in pets so that you can get them care as soon as possible. Signs of heat stroke in pets include:
• Heavy Panting That Won’t Calm Down (Even When They’re Laying Down)
• Bright Red Gums
• Fast Pulse Rate
• Wobbly Legs or an Inability to Get Up
If your pet demonstrates signs of heat stroke, get them to a cool place with plenty of water, put a damp towel over their body, and get them to a vet as soon as you can. However, do not place your pet in cold water as this can throw them into shock.
Don’t Shave Your Pet
One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is shaving them in the summer, thinking that this is the best solution to help keep them cool and comfortable. However, a pet’s coat actually acts as a protective layer that keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. By shaving your pet, you will actually make them more prone to overheating, and their skin will be more susceptible to sunburn. If your dog has particularly long hair, a groomer may recommend trimming their fur in the summer, however, they should always at least leave an inch of protective fur.
Other Summer Safety Tips
Besides heat to worry about, there are a few more dangers that your pets may face that you need to be aware of:
- Keep an eye on your pet around water. Make sure they know how to swim or have some sort of life vest to keep them safe.
- Watch for parasites, especially if you regularly go outside where fleas or ticks can jump aboard. Medications and specialized collars can keep the pests away.
- Remove toxic plants from your yard that your pet may chew on and get sick. You can find a full list of plants that can be dangerous if consumed by your pet here.
Summer fun is easier to have when everyone enjoying it is safe. Taking a few simple precautions can go a long way in ensuring your pets are safe when the temperatures heat up this summer.
Whether it’s your pet or your family, make sure that you’re protected this summer with Northeast Nebraska Insurance. Get a customized plan for everyone in your family by contacting one of our local agents.