Summer pet safety tips

Now that things are warming up, having some fun in the sun with our pets is on everybody’s mind. Few things are more rewarding than spending a day at the park playing with your pup or doing some gardening with your kitty by your side to frolic and help.

There is a lot of fun to be had in the summer, but high temperatures can be dangerous to your pet’s health. The following summer pet safety tips can help make sure your summer fun is safe and healthy for your furry friend.

Never leave your pet in the car on a hot day

We all like hitting the road with our dog riding shotgun, but if you’re going somewhere that will require your pet to stay in your car or truck unattended, it’s best to leave them at home.

Even on a mild summer day of 78°F, the temperature in a car or truck can reach 90° in five minutes. A pet can get heat stroke and die in as little as 15 minutes in a car on a warm day. Even if your pet survives being left in the car, their organs may be permanently damaged.

In some cities, police have the authority to break windows to rescue animals from parked cars. Of all summer pet safety tips, this one might get overlooked the most.

Avoid exercising in the heat

Summer is a great time to get out for a walk or a day in the park. It’s also a dangerous time if temps get high.

To prevent heatstroke avoid exercising your pet on days when the temperature or humidity is high and keep plenty of water on hand when you and your pup go out.

When you exercise your pet, take a lot of cool down breaks. Plan your exercise sessions for the early morning or in the evening to avoid the heat of the day.

Make sure your pet has more than enough water

One of the main ways dogs cool down is by drinking cool water. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your days at the park. Keep their water dish full at home as well. Keep a collapsible water bowl in your car or truck so you can share your water with your pet if you get stuck in traffic.

Take time to cool down your pet on hot days and after exercise

Fans are not the best way to cool down pets. Since dogs mostly sweat through their paws, you’ll want to take them somewhere where they can walk through or swim in some water. Sprinklers and hoses are fun and work great.

You can also feed your pet frozen, pet-friendly treats. Most dogs love frozen nuggets of peanut butter.

After exercise, take your furry friend to a cool, air-conditioned, or shaded area. Sprinkle and splash cool water on their paws or feet. Fill up a hollow Kong toy with water and treats and freeze it to give them a treat to cool down with.

Cats usually prefer air conditioning to getting wet, but you can put some ice cubes in their water dish to help keep them cool.

On the trail or in the park, bring a picnic cooler filled with ice to put in your pet’s water or to rub on their tummy to keep them cool. This is one of those pet safety tips that will allow you and your pet to have a blast all day long.

Use sunscreen to protect your pet from sunburn

Yes, pets can get sunburned, too. Find a sunscreen made for babies or pets and apply it to their back, nose, the skin around their lips, the tips of their ears, their tummy, and their inner thighs.

Sun can reflect off water and sand to burn your four-legged friend’s underside, so don’t neglect those areas. Summer pet safety tips like this one gets overlooked a lot, but can save your pet from a painful burn.

Protect your pet against bugs

We’re not the only ones who start to get more active in the summer. Bugs like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and flies are at their peak in the hot months. Ask your vet about what type of bug prevention you should use for your pet.

Keep your pet away from hot pavement

Pavement can quickly get hot enough to fry an egg on summer days. Protect your pet’s paws by avoiding pavement that’s in the sun. Even on mild summer days of 77°F, pavement in the sun can reach temps of up to 125°. When temperatures get up past 80°, pavement in direct sunlight can cause burns on your feet, and your dog or cats pads are more sensitive than human feet are.

Secure your pet

Walking your dog or cat is a great way for both you and your best friend to get some much needed exercise.

Be sure to check your state’s leash laws, as they can vary.

Look for a dog leash that is long enough to let you retain control. Most cat leashes are retractable to allow your kitty to roam.

If you’re going to be walking your dog at night make sure to carry a flashlight and wear bright clothes so you can be seen more easily. You can also get a collar light that will make your pet easy to spot.

During barbecues, picnics, and bonfires, make sure you keep your pet tied up to keep them from eating something that will make them sick and from getting burned.