5 Important Summer Safety Tips For Pet Owners
By Amber Kingsley
In a recent post, we discussed some dangers associated with autumn when it comes to our canines. But warmer summer months also pose some unique hazards for our four-legged friends. This is the time of year that the heat causes a number of dangers for dog and cats. It’s not just the danger of being trapped in a hot car, there are many other potentially deadly heat-related stresses affecting our animals.
So in this light, here are five summer safety tips for pets and their owners:
#1 – Surface Survival
Many of us have heard the expression, “it’s so hot out there, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk,” and the same is true for our pet’s sensitive paws. When the outside temperature reaches 95℉, surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can reach up 140℉, easily hot enough to cause a serious burn on their feet.
#2 – Signs & Symptoms
Be vigilant when it comes to monitoring your pet for signs and symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration, two dangerous conditions that can lead to serious problems or even result in death. For dogs and cats who become overheated, they may:
- Pant or salivate excessively
- Become agitated or restless
- Have labored breathing
- Begin frothing or foaming at the mouth
- Have an increased heart rate
- Begin vomiting or have diarrhea
- Become weak, lethargic or listless
- Vocalize excessively for no apparent reason
Eventually, these symptoms can elevate to seizures, collapse, coma or even death. If you pet is showing signs of being overheated or dehydrated, take them to the veterinarian immediately.
#3 – Swimming Safely
While many canines (and fewer cats) enjoy a nice dip in these cool waters, swimming pools are known to be sources of injuries and illnesses for animals. When it comes to summer safety and enjoying some time poolside with our pets, remember to:
Never – assume an animal can swim or force them into the water
Always – slowly introduce them to the water if they seem interested
Never – allow them in or near the water when the pool is covered
Always – ensure they know how to safely enter and exit the pool
Never – let them drink pool water with chemicals, even saltwater can be hazardous
Always – use protection like goggles or life vests when appropriate
Just like our two-legged children, our four-legged friends should never be left unsupervised around a swimming pool.
#4 – Sunburn
More time in the sun puts us and our pets in danger of getting a painful sunburn. Animals with shorter hair, lighter colored fur and skin are at an increased danger. There are sunscreen products available for animals, but if you’re having trouble locating a brand that’s pet-friendly, consider those approved for the use on children.
#5 – Kid Friendly
Speaking of children, if you’re worried about your pet becoming too hot when they’re outdoors, consider purchasing them one of those “kiddie-pools.” While we all know to give them plenty of fresh water and shade, these miniature dipping devices can give our pets some more relief from the searing, summer heat.
Summer is a great time of year and shouldn’t pose a threat to our pets if we are careful and give them some extra attention. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your dog or cat during these warmer periods to keep them out of danger.