Updated: Jun 8, 2021
Summer is a great time to get out and play! Whether you are chilling by the pool, hiking, or at the beach, here are a few tips to keep your pet safe.
1. Sunscreen! Sunburns and cancer are a concern for animals too. If you have a breed with no hair, short fur, or a light colored coat, it is a good idea to get an animal safe sunscreen that you can apply to any areas that are prone to burn. Areas such as the nose, ears, and abdomen are most prone to sun damage. Sunscreen should be free of zinc oxide, PABA, and any fragrance as they can be toxic to pets.
2. Protect their paws. Do you remember running around without shoes as a child during the summer and how much the side walks and streets burned your feet? Pets are prone to damaging their paw pads on the hot ground during the summer. Try taking walks early in the morning or night to avoid the hottest times of the day. Before stepping out onto a paved surface, touch the ground with your hand. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot for your pet to walk on. If you have to take your pet out on a hot surface then protect their paws with special made pet shoes or salves/creams made to protect paws from burning.
3. Flea, tick, and heart worm prevention. Summer time is also insect time. Mosquitos, fleas, and ticks all love the warm and humid weather during the summer. To protect your pet from fleas, mosquitoes that carry heart worm, or tick born diseases such as Lyme, make sure to apply a topical monthly preventative that protects against all three problems. You can also get oral tablets that taste like treats and last for 3 months if you prefer to give and forget for awhile.
4. Water safety. While some pets love the water or are excellent swimmers, they can still get tired in the water or overwhelmed by waves/turbulent water. To protect your pet from drowning, use a pet life vest every time they are around water they could swim in.
5. First-aid. Bring a pet first-aid kit with you every where you are taking your pet. It is also good to know local veterinary hospitals any place you travel to with your pet. In addition, remember to bring any medications your pet may need while out and about.
6. Over heating. While your pets can act very stoic, they can easily be hurt or over heating without giving you many clues. Pay attention to your pet and give them lots of break time in a shaded area. Carry a water bottle and bowl for your pet and give them free access to as much water as they need. For extra cooling at home or out of the house, try buying a cooling mat or vest.
Breeds with short muzzles are especially prone to heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke in pets includes excessive panting, drooling, bright red gums, elevated body temperature, lethargy, vomiting/diarrhea, confusion, incoordination, loss of consciousness and possible seizures. If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, immediately put them in a shaded or air conditioned environment, give water if they are able to drink by themselve, and put a cool, wet towel on their backs. However, the best thing to do is to bring them immediately to your vet in an air conditioned car (of course with water and wet towel for extra cooling). Your vet will be able to properly cool and hydrate your animal with intravenous fluids, while observing your animal for any serious problems like kidney failure.
7. Never leave a pet alone. You should never leave your pet alone while you are out and about. Your pet could become hurt, over heated, or lost without you realizing it. Lastly, don’t leave your pet in the car in the summer, even if the window is cracked.
Enjoy your summer!
Written by: Wendy Morgan, Owner of Hayworth’s