The summer season is an excellent time to get outdoors, and enjoy the weather with your four-legged friend. However, summer adventures can pose a variety of risks to your pet’s health, particularly when the temperature skyrockets. Follow our tips, and keep your best friend safe from harm while exploring and playing outside this summer.
#1: How to keep your pet safe when summer heats up
Heat and humidity can make the summer season miserable, especially if you’re stuck in a permanent fur coat. Keep your furry pal cool and comfortable with these heat safety recommendations:
- Pick your time — Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, and exercise and play during early mornings or late evenings.
- Protect pets’ paws — Avoid the sizzling pavement when walking your pet, and search for cool, shaded grass or dirt paths to prevent them from scorching their paw pads.
- Keep pets cool — Offer plenty of cool, fresh water, shade, and ventilation when your pet is outdoors.
- Watch for overheating — Monitor your pet carefully for heat exhaustion and heatstroke signs, such as excessive panting, thick drool, difficulty walking, disorientation, or collapse. At the first hint of overheating, get your pet out of the sun, and into an air-conditioned building.
While all pets can overheat during warm temperatures, some pets are high-risk, because of a variety of characteristics, such as:
- Flat face
- Thick double coat
- Pediatric or geriatric status
- Cardiac or respiratory disease
- High working drive
If your pet falls into one of these categories, take extra precautions to keep them safe during high temperatures and excessive humidity.
#2: How to keep your pet safe out on the water
A great way to cool down during the heat of the day is to head out on the water, whether in a boat, or your swimming pool. If your furry pal tags along, remember that not all pets instinctively know how to doggy paddle, and may need assistance staying afloat. Outfit your pet in a life vest, and watch them closely whenever they are in water deep enough that they need to swim. Also, exercise caution on or around boats, to avoid fish hook and propeller accidents.
#3: How to keep your pet safe at your barbecue
Summertime is often scented with the mouth-watering aromas of barbecues and cookouts, which can entice your furry pal to sniff around, or snatch a chicken leg. You may invite the entire block to your summer barbecue, but don’t add your pet to the guest list. Some cookout catastrophes for pets include:
- Burned extremities — Your pet’s nose is a powerful thing that can lead them straight into burning-hot danger. Pets who follow their noses to the grill, and attempt to snatch a piece of sizzling meat, may suffer from singed whiskers, a burned nose, or worse.
- Gastrointestinal obstructions — While barbecued foods are popular because they can be eaten without a fork, bones and corn cobs pose a serious threat to your pet. A barbecued chicken leg, slab of ribs, or corn on the cob can lodge in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, or perforate the intestines, both situations that may require emergency, life-saving surgery.
- Pancreatitis — Side dishes, such as pasta salads and other salads loaded with mayonnaise, oil, and other high-fat ingredients, often grace picnic tables. If your furry pal scarfs down a helping of your famous potato salad, they may be in for a bout of pancreatitis. Toss the fat from your steak into the trash, and keep other fatty foods away from your pet, to avoid this painful, potentially life-threatening condition.
Prevent your best friend from feeling left out of the fun and the tasty dishes, and whip up a pet-safe cookout indoors. Offer your pet veggies roasted on the grill without any oil or seasoning, lean pieces of unseasoned, boneless meat, or a couple of chunks of your grape-and raisin-free fruit salad. Your furry pal will love their tasty treats, which carry no threat of pancreatitis, or an intestinal obstruction.
#4: How to keep your pet safe from parasites and insects
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes also think summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the season. These tiny pests can pack a serious punch, and infect your pet with a variety of potentially life-threatening illnesses. Stock up on heartworm, flea, and tick prevention products for your furry pal, and ensure you administer the medications on the correct schedule, to keep your pet safe from harm. Other insects, such as bees, wasps, hornets, and spiders, also can threaten your four-legged friend, so despite the challenge, keep your pet well away from insect lairs, to avoid bites and stings that may cause an allergic reaction. Contact us if your pet does experience a swollen muzzle, hives, or difficulty breathing after a bite or sting.
You know your Holland Lake Animal Hospital team always has your pet’s health and well-being in mind. If your furry pal needs a bit of help to enjoy the summer safely, contact us for assistance or advice.