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Top 10 tips to keep pets safe in the heat

Posted by Amanda Esler, pet specialist at Byerly's Ridgedale
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer is upon us, and with our abnormally hot weather, our pets need constant attention. As the temperature climbs, remember our pets are wearing a fur coat every day. They can’t tell us they’re hot or thirsty; we need to be advocates for them.

I’ve provided some expert tips to help you and your pets enjoy summer safely:

  1.  Make sure your pets have fresh clean water available at all times. However, don’t allow your pets do drink from pools, lakes, or standing water. There may be chemicals or bacteria in these bodies of water that can make your pet sick.
  2. Don’t leave your pets in an unattended vehicle. No matter how quick you are at the store, the temperature inside a vehicle can climb dangerously high in minutes. This could lead to heat stroke and possible death. 
  3. If your pet is outside, make sure they have shade. Pets can burn just like us, making it important to limit their exposure to the sun.
  4. Limit your pets’ activity in the midday when the temperatures are the highest. If you and your pet enjoy outdoor activities, try scheduling them in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler. Bring drinking water along for them as well.
  5. Remember the pads of their feet are extremely sensitive. Try to avoid walking on paved or dark surfaces in the summer.
  6. When taking your pet for a swim in the lake or pool, make sure to rinse them off after swimming so the chemicals or bacteria in that water don’t get in your pet and make them sick. Remember, many dogs are natural born swimmers, but not all dogs can swim.
  7. Always keep a watchful eye on your pet while they’re swimming. If you enjoy taking your dog boating, consider purchasing a life jacket for them. Even if your pet can swim, the distance you boated away from shore may be impossible for them to swim without tiring. They may not even know what direction to swim to reach land. Also, many of the life jackets available for pets have handles on the top, making it easy to get them out safely if they happen to go overboard.
  8. Summer is a great time to get out in the gardens. It’s also time to think about the products we may put on our lawns or gardens. Are they safe for our pets that play and live in these environments?
  9. Try keeping up on the grooming of your pet. It’s extremely helpful to brush out the loose fur from their coats; this will help them regulate body temperature easier.
  10. When in doubt, the safest place for your pet is inside in an air conditioned house. When attending summer activities, think about the safety and comfort of your pet before considering bringing them along. Many festivals conclude with beautiful fireworks, which can be a huge stressor to your pets. If the sound of fireworks or thunderstorms really upsets your dog, I recommend you give a Thundershirt a try.

I hope you and your pet enjoy all of summer’s fun safely!

Tags: petssummerpet care

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