09 May Summertime Pet Safety Tips
Summer is just around the corner. Before you know it, we’ll be wearing our favorite shorts and tank top combinations, spending long days at the beach, and making ice cream cones a part of our daily life. Summertime is the time when we strive to make great memories. Most of us want to include our pets in our summertime experiences, so now is the perfect time to review summertime pet safety tips.
Don’t Let Your Pet Overheat in Your Car
Pet owners’ biggest challenge during the summer is the desire to bring their pets everywhere. However, the fact that your dog loves to go for car rides can make it difficult to tell them they must stay home. The problem is that the temperature inside a parked car quickly climbs to deadly levels for a dog that can’t free themselves from the hot car. This is why if you’re out of the car and unable to bring your dog, you should leave them home.
Some people want to skirt the issue of having a dog in the car by leaving their car running so the air conditioning keeps the dog cool. The problem with this plan is that a running car is very tempting to car thieves who will quickly let your dog out (or take the dog if it’s friendly) and steal it.
If you know that you’ll have to leave your dog alone in your car during the summertime, the safest and kindest thing you can do is leave your pet at home.
Hot Concrete Leads to Severely Burned Paws
Every summer, veterinarians care for pets, especially dogs with badly burned paws. In many cases, the cause of the burns was walking on a hot sidewalk. Unfortunately, since dogs are stoic, the owners didn’t realize how hot the sidewalk was and how badly their dogs were hurt until the damage to their paws was extensive.
Before each walk, find a patch of sunlit sidewalk and hold the back of your hand to it. If you can’t keep your hand on the concrete for thirty seconds and remain comfortable, it’s too hot to walk your dog. Wait until the sun starts to set.
Encourage your dog to walk on the grass whenever possible.
Learn the Early Warning Signs of Heat Stroke in Your Pets
As a pet owner, it’s in your best interest to learn the early warning signs that your dog is potentially starting to suffer from heat stroke so that you can take preventative steps before the condition worsens.
Early warning signs include:
- Extremely heavy panting
- Heavy drooling
- They are restless
- Actively looking for shade and water
- They’re starting to vomit
- Their tongue and gums are turning bright red
- Their heart rate and respiration rate have climbed
As soon as you notice the early warning signs of heatstroke in your pet, you must get them out of the sun and into a cool or shaded area. Offer them small sips of water. Use cool, but not ice-cold water, to lower their temperature. Then, as soon as possible, take them to the vet for an exam.