Summer is a time of sunbathing, cooking out, swimming, and celebrating with cold drinks and fireworks. It’s also a season with several risks for both humans and pets.
Since summer is well underway, we thought it would be a good time to highlight some pet safety issues associated with this time of the year.
Water and Shade
Anyone living in North Carolina knows just how hot and humid it can get during the summer. Pets are not immune to the effects of those scorching temperatures, so make sure they have access to fresh water and shade at all times.
*Doghouses may be fairly dark inside, but they can limit airflow. Make sure the houses are located in a shaded area.
*Senior pets and those with health issues should spend the majority of the time in an air-conditioned environment. Their bodies may not able to respond to warmer temperatures effectively.
*Recognize the signs of overheating and heat illness. These include panting heavily, having trouble breathing, drooling, weakness, and increased heart rate. More severe cases may cause diarrhea, vomiting, collapse, and seizures. Immediate medical attention is required.
Don’t Leave Pets in Vehicles
Do not ever leave pets in your car or truck–even for just a few minutes! And no, cracking the window isn’t effective in preventing heat illness.
According to the ASPCA, it takes only ten minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to reach 102 degrees F on an 85 degree day. That temperature can jump to 120 degrees in 30 minutes. (And we all know summer days in NC get much hotter than 85.)
*Limit how much outdoor exercise your pets get during the hot weather months. Try to schedule any outside playtime for early in the mornings or late in the evenings when the temperature isn’t so brutal.
*Don’t let your pets spend much time on asphalt, as it can lead to burned paws. And, speaking of burns, you may want to have a chat with your veterinarian about pet-safe sunscreen if your animals have thin coats.
*Stay on top of what kind of plants are growing in your garden and yard, as some may be unsafe for pets. And while insecticides can help eliminate some pests, the chemicals can be toxic for your furry friends. Do your research and make sure your lawn care provider knows you have pets.
*Dogs aren’t always good swimmers, so supervise your pets when they’re hanging out near a pool. If they end up taking a swim, try to prevent them from drinking the chemical-filled water. It’s also a good idea to give them a good rinse after being in the pool.
You may have a great time celebrating Independence Day in July each year, but it can be a rough time for pets. For many animals, the explosive sounds of fireworks can be terrifying, and they often have to endure them for several hours.
*Never store or set off fireworks, sparklers, or similar items near pets. If anyone uses fireworks near your home, take a few minutes to check your yard for debris.
*Don’t let your pets run loose during the celebrations. They can become extremely stressed and run away–or injure themselves trying.
Protection from Pests
While protecting your dogs and cats from pests should be done all year, it’s especially important during the warm months when fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are at their worst.
Work with your veterinarian to find suitable measures for preventing conditions like dermatitis, anemia, tapeworms, heartworms, and tick-borne illnesses.
Have fun and stay safe out there!