Summer isn’t over yet, and whether you’re headed out to the lake or hosting a pool party at home, it’s likely your furry friend will be right by your side. Pets need your help to stay safe during summer. For a focus on more fun and fewer visits to the veterinarian, try these simple tips:
1. Protect Those Paws
Ever touched pavement on a hot summer day and burned your fingertips? Or rushed to put your sandals on at the beach because the sand was scorching your feet? Imagine how your pet feels when the two of you go for a summertime stroll. To protect sensitive paws from dangerous burns, consider getting your dog some sun booties—stretchy rubber shoes that easily slip on and off. Additionally, avoid going on walks during the hottest time of day, which is usually between 1 and 4 p.m.
2. Know the Warning Signs
Similar to humans, heat exhaustion in pets often presents itself in a somewhat subtle way. Look for signs of heat stress to protect your pet from overheating. Some symptoms include heavy panting, thick drool, bright red gums, wobbly legs, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as any combination of these. If you suspect the onset of heat stroke, the Humane Society suggests moving your pet to a cool place and giving her cool (but not cold) drinking water. Drape a cool cloth or towel-wrapped ice packs over her fur and contact your vet if she doesn’t show signs of immediate improvement.
3. Avoid Unsupervised Swimming
There’s a common misconception that all dogs are great swimmers, but that’s not always the case. Even if your pup is comfortable in water, limit the opportunity he has to sneak off into the pool without you. Invest in a mesh or solid pool cover from PoolProducts.com to place over the water when the pool is not in use, or try an invisible shock system that warns your pet not to get too close. Not only will these lessen your pet’s risk of drowning, but it will help you keep a better eye on his pool-water drinking habits.
4. No Parking, Please
Everyone knows that a car’s interior heats up during long summer days, but many people don’t realize how quickly car interiors can reach deadly temperatures. According to Weather.com, in just 10 minutes the temperature inside a parked car can jump 19 degrees higher than the outside temperature. In 20 minutes, it can jump nearly 30 degrees higher. That means if you leave your pet in the car in 90-degree weather to quickly run some errands inside, it could be 124 degrees inside when you get back a half hour later. Instead, leave your pet at home with the air conditioner on, or bring a friend to stay in the car with the AC running.
5. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Skin tumors, which are often cancerous, are the most common tumors found on dogs, according to Pet MD. Before heading out to the pool or park, apply pet-approved sunscreen to the most sun-sensitive areas of your pet’s skin, such as your dog’s belly and ears or around your cat’s eyes. Just like you reapply sunscreen on yourself every three or four hours, make it a habit to do the same for your pet.