Summer Pet Safety

Pet health should be an owner’s priority in the summer heat. There are practical precautions to be taken that will allow for a fun and safe summer for pets.

The summer offers endless fun for both pets and owners alike. Walks in the park swimming pool adventures, long car rides with the windows rolled down, and hours of fetch are only some of the summer activities that you and your pet have to look forward to. However, as an owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pet cool and in a safe environment throughout the blistering months of summer.

Dogs are not as efficient as cooling down their body temperature like humans. A dog’s average body temperature is between 100-102 degrees, and they do not have sweat glands throughout their body as a human does; instead, sweat glands are only located on their nose and the pads of their paws. A dog cools himself through panting and drinking cool water, so precautions should be taken to keep your pet cool and comfortable.

According to PETA, here are some tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer:

 Dogs need to be kept inside, if possible.
 If a dog must be left outside, make sure there is plenty of shade and freshwater.
 If taking your dog exercising with you, keep a nice steady slow pace. Dogs should not be running extensively or even jogging in the intense heat.
 Do not leave a dog or cat in a parked car for any amount of time. Even though an owner may only be gone a moment, car temperatures can quickly climb to 120 degrees or more.
 Dogs and cats have sensitive pads on the bottom of their paws; these can easily burn on hot pavement or sand. Be aware of where you are taking your pet, and if it is too hot for an owner to walk on, it is probably too hot for a pet.
 Do not transport your animal in the back of a pickup. Though it may seem to keep the animal cooler, the hot sun exposure and the temperature of the truck bed could be harming your pet. Also, it is not a safe form of transportation.

General Summer Safety Tips for Pets

With the summer, heat comes all the outdoor fun as well. Neighbors will be gardening and laying down fresh fertilizer. Kids will be running through the neighborhood anxious for that Independence Day celebration. All the pools will re-open, and owners and pets alike will want to take full advantage of the cool water. Also, along with all the kids and pets, the mosquitoes and ticks will also join in the summer fun. Here are some precautions that pet owners need to heed:

 Keep pets away from fertilizers and deadly plants.
 Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the chance that he/she will bite an individual.
 Keep your pets inside on the 4th of July. Dogs have sensitive hearing and are made nervous and often unruly when loud fireworks are set off.
 Dogs often love playing in the water, but owners should be careful and keep a close eye.
 Always make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag.
 Summer is a breeding ground for heartworm disease, fleas, and ticks. Always consult your veterinarian on the best prevention treatments to keep your dog and cat in optimum health.

Enjoy a safe and adventurous summer with your dog or cat. Keep an eye out for other pet owners and their companions. Pets are a privilege, and owners should remember to take the proper precautions to keep them in good health and comfortable in the summer heat. Summer provides opportunities for fun and danger when it comes to domesticated animals. With preparation, such as plenty of cool water and available shade, humans, dogs, and cats can enjoy the summer.