Enjoy a carefree summer with these simple safety tips
The season for outdoor fun is here—and with it comes a number of reasons to be proactive with pet care. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips to help you identify potential pet concerns as the summer fun unfolds.
Help pets relax during summer celebrations
As many pet lovers know, the pops and crackles of fireworks can really stress out pets. To help relax your dog or cat, exercise them beforehand, keep them indoors, close windows and doors, and create white noise by turning on the radio, TV, or a fan.
Your cat will probably hide under a bed or couch, but you can try to get your dog’s mind off the loud noises by teaching them a new trick or playing a game like fetch or tug-of-war. Trupanion’s on-staff veterinarian, Dr. Caroline Wilde, also recommends identifying safe spaces where pets can get away, like a bathroom with no windows. Be sure to read more firework tips—like making sure your pet has updated identification tags—before celebrating around your pets.
Stay up to date with flea and tick treatments
These critters enjoy the warm sunny weather just as much as you do. Make sure to stay up to date with your pet’s flea and tick treatments and heartworm prevention medication. There are a lot of options, so ask your veterinarian which is best for your pet. Curious where ticks tend to hide on pets? We’ve outlined five common places.
Did you know?
Male mosquitoes don’t bite humans or animals. instead, they feed on flower nectar.
Protect your pet’s paws from hot surfaces
Have you ever walked barefoot across asphalt, concrete, or sand on a hot, sunny day? Ouch! Your pet’s paws are just as sensitive to this heat as your bare feet are. To avoid these blistering hot surfaces, walk your pet during the cooler morning or evening hours, or stick to grass and other surfaces that stay cooler.
Did you know?
You can evaluate the temperature of sidewalks by pressing your hand on the surface for seven seconds.
Keep your pet cool and hydrated
Dogs and cats are particularly susceptible to heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition. To keep your pet cool and hydrated, provide plenty of water and shade or keep them in a cool, air-conditioned room. And that’s not all—we’ve got more tips for keeping pets hydrated.
Learn the signs and what to do if you suspect your pet has heatstroke.
- Panting or salivating excessively
- Staggering or walking unsteadily
- Deep red or purple tongue
- Dry gums
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid pulse
What to do:
- Immediately call your veterinarian
- Move your pet to a cooler area
- Avoid sudden cooling (like putting your pet in an ice bath)
- Apply isopropyl alcohol 70% to their paw pads, place a cool damp towel on their back, and allow them to drink small amounts of water
Provide fresh, clean water
Going on a hike or spending the day at the beach? Bring plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet to drink. Salt from ocean water and microscopic parasites in lakes, streams, and puddles can make your pet sick. While most dogs can swim, not all dogs are meant for a life in the water.
Flat-faced dog breeds, like French Bulldogs or Pugs, often struggle to swim because of their short snouts and broad chests. If your pet is a swimmer, keep an eye on them and make sure they have an easy way to get out of the water— you can also get a life jacket for your furry friend. Be sure to read more water safety tips before your take your dog swimming.
Keep your pet's ears dry
Does your dog love to play in the water during the summer? It’s a great way to cool off, but also a great way for them to wind up with an ear infection, especially for dogs with floppy ears. Drying your pup’s ears with a towel after they play in water helps prevent ear infections.
Did you know?
According to Trupanion’s claim data, there is a 15% increase in ear infections during the late summer months.
Never leave your pet in the car
It’s no secret that pets and cars on a sunny day do not mix. The temperature inside a vehicle is drastically warmer than the temperature outside, even with the windows cracked. You can see the temperature difference in our infographic. If you see a pet in danger, say something:
- Alert business management
- Call police or animal control
- Record vehicle information: make, model, color, license plate
- Stay with the pet until help arrives—you can save a life!
Need to run errands? Do your pet a favor and leave them at home. Never leave your pet unattended in the car, even with a window cracked, and especially not in the sun. If you need to take your furry friend with you, have another person stay with them in the car and keep the air conditioning running.
Keep an eye out for allergy symptoms
Allergies hit humans hard in the spring, but pets are most affected by allergies in late summer—specifically in August. Pets can be allergic to almost all of the same things as humans, and their symptoms are often similar to ours as well. Think your pet has allergies? Call your veterinarian to discuss a treatment plan that best suits your pet.
Did you know?
Allergies are the #1 most frequently claimed condition among Trupanion pets.