With the warmer weather, we all want to spend as much time as possible outside. That includes our pets, too! While the summer sun may be a nice break from the harshness of winter, it also means we need to be careful. The heat can take a toll on our furry companions but these summer safety tips for pets will keep your four-legged family member safe from harm.
1. Water is Key
Make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water to keep your pet hydrated. Animals can dehydrate quickly in the heat. Some symptoms of dehydration are sunken eyes, panting, dry nose and gums, lethargy and loss of appetite. Be sure to bring water along on any excursion as well as a bowl for them to drink it from.
2. Never Leave Your Pet in the Car Unattended
Your canine or feline friend may enjoy a car ride, but not sitting in one during the heat of the day. Even if you are “only running into the store quickly,” NEVER leave your pet in a car unattended. It only takes 6 minutes for an animal to die of heat exhaustion, sometimes even less. Be a good pet parent and either take your pet into the store with you or leave them at home. If you see an animal inside a hot car, call the police.
3. Avoid the Heat of the Day When Possible
Mid-afternoon walks may be a great way to enjoy the great weather, but when the temps are high, avoid being out in the sun during peak hours. If you can’t put your hand on the pavement for more than five seconds, it’s too hot to take your dog for a walk along sidewalks or paved paths. Instead, go in the early morning before the temperature heats up or save the walk for the evening.
4. Watch Where You Walk
While you may want to walk on the grass to keep your pet’s feet cool, this can be harmful. Common insecticides you may use on your lawn or in your garden can be dangerous for your pet if accidentally ingested. Other outdoor items such as citronella candles and tiki torches should be avoided as well.
5. Be Careful Around Bodies of Water
Whether you’re walking on the beach or hanging out by a friend’s pool, we need to be vigilant when it comes to water safety. Not all animals are born swimmers and this can lead to terrible situations! It never hurts to put a life jacket on your animals to help ensure their safety when close to water.
6. Keep an Eye Out for Unwanted Hitchhikers
By this we mean fleas, ticks and other pests! Over the years, fleas and ticks have become more and more prominent in Ontario. They can carry awful parasites like tapeworms and infections like Lyme disease which are harmful to your furry family member. A trip to the vet early in the season can help keep your pet free of these critters.
7. Avoid Shaving Your Pets
Shaving your dog or cat may seem like a great way to deter the aforementioned pests, but this comes with its own issues. Fur helps protect your pet from sunburn as well as overheating. Even with their fur, it’s a great idea to use animal-safe sunscreen to help prevent sunburns.
8. Be Mindful of Fireworks
Outdoor celebrations are plentiful in the summer and on special occasions like Victoria Day and Canada Day, fireworks may make an appearance. While we might enjoy the big booms and pretty colours, they’re often terrifying for our pets. Try to keep fireworks to a minimum if possible and ensure your cat or dog has somewhere calm and quiet to hide from them.
9. Keep an Eye on Your Barbeque
The delicious smell of food on the BBQ is enticing for your pets, but many food items may be harmful for them. Items like raisins, grapes, chocolate, or the small bones in fish can cause serious health issues. Alcohol can also be very harmful. Keep food and drinks well out of reach for the safety of your pet.
We hope these 9 tips are useful guidelines for you to keep your pets safe in the heat this summer. If you are planning time away from home and would like care for your pet when you arenot there, contact us to discuss your pet sitting needs. We'll visit to care for cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, birds, fish, and reptiles.