Simple safety tips to enjoy a carefree summer.
While unexpected illnesses and injuries can happen at any time during the year, some are more prevalent seasonally. Keep reading to learn about a few potential pet concerns to keep in mind as you have fun in the sun this summer.
Keep pets out of hot cars
It’s no secret that pets and cars on a warm summer day do not mix. If you see a pet in danger, say something. Eighteen states across the US have passed laws to protect pets left in unsafe cars— see which states have here. Alert business management, call the police or animal control, and record vehicle information like the make, model, color, and license plate number. 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. Temperatures rise faster than you think.
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. Learn the signs of heatstroke, like excessive panting and salivation, weakness, staggering, and vomiting, and what to do if you suspect your pet has heatstroke.
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 foot pads, place a cool damp towel on their back, and allow them to drink small amounts of water
Hydration and flotation
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.
Summer is a great time to have a backyard barbecue, and the tempting smells may attract your pet to the grill. Despite their pleading eyes, avoid giving your pet scraps and keep them out of the trash. Rich table scraps can give your pet a stomach ache and some foods may even be toxic.
Trupanion receives more anxiety-related claims in July than any other month of the year. 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.
Mosquitos and fleas and ticks! Oh my!
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.
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.
Top 10 Dog Breeds Most Prone to Allergies
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- West Highland White Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Basset Hound
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- American Pit bull Terrier
- Shiba Inu
- Bichon Frise
- Boston Terrier
Too hot to trot
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.