Taking care of our fur babies is always important and pet owners know that the type of care they need can change from season to season or even location to location. Having all the fun in the sun, at the beach, or even just day to day means making sure you and your pets are healthy, happy, and safe. This list provides eight helpful tips on how to take care of a variety of pets in warmer weather.
Keep Them Hydrated
Just like humans, animals need to stay well hydrated when it is very hot outside. If you are going to be outside with your dog or cat, take a bottle of water just for them to have. Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, like excessive drooling, or dry gums. It is important to make sure they stay well hydrated indoors as well, by always providing fresh, clean water in containers that are easily accessible.
Remember That Pets and Fireworks Don’t Mix
A big part of summer for some is the ability to set off fireworks. Between festivals, the fourth of July, and Labor Day, fireworks may happen often and regularly in the area where you live. As much as you may want to share your fireworks excitement with your pet, don’t. Remember that animals’ hearing is almost always more sensitive than humans, and they may be more sensitive in other ways, as well.
If nothing else, they are likely to be terrified, which does not make for a fun environment for them. Also, a normally calm animal may react so extremely to fireworks that they try to run and hide, giving the possibility that your fur child will escape you and disappear.
Taking Them Swimming
Some animals love to swim, others seem to be more averse to water. Either way, if you are thinking of taking your pet swimming or boating, please keep their safety in mind. Not all pets are instinctive swimmers. Even dogs, with their doggy paddle, do not always know how to keep themselves afloat.
Around any open water, a lifejacket for your pet is a good idea. And if you are thinking of taking your pet on a boat, remember that the boat itself and being on water may frighten your pet enough to do something rash like try to jump off.
Watch Out for Bugs
While the bug spray you use for yourself may not be good to use on your pet, your pets need protection from bugs as much as you do. In the summer things like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are prevalent, and all of these bugs can cause long-term illnesses and even death in pets if they are not treated correctly.
Keeping up with regular vet visits and making sure your vet prescribes treatments that prevent bug bites can keep your pets healthy and happy during those fun outside romps. This does double duty as being beneficial to you as a pet parent because all of the insects that cause issues for pets can cause issues for humans as well.
Protect Their Paws
Have you ever walked on a blacktop on a hot summer day? Or accidentally touched your car that had been sitting in the sun baking for hours, and pulled back just in time for it not to burn you? The same hot surfaces that can cause pain to us can cause major pain and damage to little paws and noses. When you see that little pomeranian at the dog park wearing booties, it may look silly – but paw shoes can prevent delicate paw pads from suffering burns similar to what happens to human skin.
Your pet will not automatically know what is too hot or too cold, it is up to you as the pet parent to be aware of what they are doing and touching and stepping on. Paw damage can happen in winter just as easily as in summer, as well, if your animal stands on freezing ice or snow for too long.
Keep Them Out of Enclosed Spaces
A big part of summertime pet harm comes from pets being left in vehicles. In the hot sun, the temperature in a car can jump to 180 degrees, which can be fatal to pets and humans alike. The takeaway here is to never leave your pet in a car in the summertime, no matter how much you may think you have ventilated the car.
Dehydration can happen quickly and be deadly. The breathing of an animal in an enclosed car can also cause more humidity in the car, which can make it more difficult for the animal to cool themselves off by panting.
Rethink Shaving Your Furry Friend
While it may seem like shaving your thickly coated dog or cat may be great to help them cool off in the summertime, this is not necessarily a good idea. Animals can get sunburn on their skin just like humans can, and some animals use their fur as protection against sunburn and even to help them dispel heat.
If you are thinking of trimming your dog’s fur, make sure you talk to your vet first about how much you can trim safely. Or, even better, take them to a professional groomer who knows how to properly groom dogs for the summer.
Pay Attention to Open Windows
Letting that cool breeze blow through your living space can be one of the best feelings as the days start to warm up to summer and then cool off for fall. However, if you have pets around open windows or screens, treat them as you would a child and keep an eye on them. While cats often land on their feet, dogs do not, and for any animal, falling from a height can be dangerous and lead to broken bones or internal damage.
Having a fur baby to accompany you on summertime adventures or even just those lazy warm days in the sun can be wonderful, but make sure you are taking care of their health as much as you would take care of your own so you can keep those adventures going. And most of all, make sure you and your pet are having fun!