There’s no better time than summertime to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry companion. From sunny day walks and trips to the dog park to camping and hiking trips, or simply lounging in the backyard while soaking up some rays, it’s hard to stay indoors when there’s so much to do outside. But as fun as summer is, there are a lot of risks to consider that spell danger for your pets.
Today, My Hooves and Paws will share six handy tips for you to consider to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy all summer long. Let’s take a look!
SIX SUMMERTIME PET SAFETY TIPS, PART 1
Check the Pavement Temperature Before Walks
We all love taking our dogs for walks when the weather’s nice and the sun is shining. However, sometimes the surfaces they walk on can become super-heated from the sun, which can injure and burn their paw pads. Even loose gravel surfaces can become so hot that it could burn their paws.
Tip: To prevent injury, check the temperature of the pavement by placing the backside of your hand on the ground and holding it there for five seconds. If it is too hot for your hand, it is definitely too hot for your pup’s paws. Another way to avoid paw pad burns is by walking your dog early in the morning before the ground heats up, or in the evening after the sun has gone down when the pavement has had a chance to cool down.
Provide Plenty of Water and Shade for Your Pet
As with people, dehydration can also affect dogs and cats. What’s more, both dogs and cats love to sunbathe in the hot sun, which can unintentionally cause them to overheat and suffer from heat exhaustion.
Tip: Prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion by ensuring your pets always have access to fresh, clean water, both indoors, outdoors, and in their kennel. Keep multiple bowls around the house ensuring they can always find water when they’re thirsty. Additionally, carry plenty of water when driving around town with your pet, when walking them, or when taking them to the dog park. Whether you’re spending time outdoors together or you leave them outside for a short amount of time while you run errands, it is also essential to provide them with a shady spot to cool off.
Know the Signs of Dehydration & Heat Stroke
In addition to keeping your pet hydrated and protected from the hot sun, familiarizing yourself with the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion can help save your pet’s life. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), some common warning signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Excessive drooling
- Dry, sticky gums
- Loss of appetite
- Heavy panting
- Sunken eyes
- Low energy or lethargy
- Dry nose
After spending a lot of time in the sun and heat, it is easy for pets to overheat as their internal temperatures rise. For dogs, they only cool down through their paw pads and nose, so it’s harder for them to cool down after becoming overly hot. Here are some warning signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion:
- Heavy panting
- Thick drool
- Dry, sticky, bright red gums
- Wobbly legs
- Low energy or lethargy
Flea and Tick Preventatives
Parasite-carrying pests like fleas and ticks are highly active during the summer. Fleas can cause a number of issues for pets and their guardians, too. When fleas infest a dog, their bites cause severe itching, which can lead to hair loss, inflammation, and other skin infections that can reduce their quality of life. Ticks pose an even greater threat for both pets and people, as tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and other diseases can be devastating for your health and the health of your pet.
Tip: Start your pet on flea and tick prevention as soon as flea and tick season starts in your region. Use this handy tool provided by the AKC to find out your state’s flea and tick season. Talk to your vet about the type of preventative medication they recommend for your pet. If you want to save on your flea and tick preventatives, visit My Hooves and Paws to find all the top treatments, including monthly chewable flea and tick treatments, flea and tick spray, flea and tick shampoo, insect repellents for pets, and natural flea and tick treatments.
In addition to fleas and ticks, mosquitoes carry and transmit parasites that cause heartworm disease, a severe and potentially life-threatening disease that affects dogs and, in some instances, cats. Dogs are natural hosts for heartworms, which are foot-long parasites that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. If a dog becomes infected with heartworms, it can cause:
- Lung disease
- Damage to other organs
- Heart failure
It is of the utmost importance to protect your dog from heartworms year-round, but especially during the summer when mosquitoes are more active.
Tip: Talk to your vet about which heartworm medication they recommend for your pet. Keep in mind that they will consider age and weight when determining the right preventative for your pet. Additionally, scheduling your pet for annual wellness exams gives your vet a chance to perform a heartworm test and begin treatment when an infection is present.
Stay Safe When Playing in the Water
Both people and pets enjoy cooling off in cool water to beat the heat. While many dogs are excellent swimmers, it’s still a good idea to have additional protection should unexpected circumstances occur. Whether you take your buddy boating, to swim in the lake, or you spend the day at the beach, make sure your dog wears a life jacket as an added level of safety. The life jacket should fit them snugly for maximum protection. Check out our selection of Ruffwear life jackets for dogs. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
VISIT YOUR FAVORITE ONLINE PET STORE
No matter which pet supplies you need to keep your precious companion healthy and happy this summer, we have what you’re looking for. My Hooves and Paws proudly carries all the best pet supplies for all your pets from top brands like Ruffwear, Doggles, Noble Pet, Earth Animal, Thomas Labs, Zymox, and so much more! The best part is, you can always enjoy the lowest prices, fast (and often free) shipping, friendly customer service, and a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. Find all your pet supplies at My Hooves and Paws and save!