During the summer months people tend to spend much more time outdoors for recreation. Our fur babies are often the first to leap out the door with equal enthusiasm to spend time with us at the park, the beach, hiking trails, and long distance road trips. Knowing how to be prepared will keep your pet protected from the effects of the sun and humidity. Also, increased exposure to fleas, ticks, and potential painful sunburns, can lead to pet perils when unprepared. Like anything, safety is dependent upon preparedness and awareness. Practice these ten tips to take care of your pet during the summer sizzle.
Summer Safety Tips
- Sunburn: Sunburns are painful and can increase the risk of skin cancer, the second most common form of cancer in pets. Help protect your pet from sunburn by applying a pet-safe sunscreen.
- Hydration: Pets, especially flat-faced breeds, can easily become dehydrated. During the summer, leave several bowls of fresh, cool water around the home and in the yard. Also take extra water on road trips or walks.
- Keep Them Comfortable: Bring pets inside when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, and maintain a cool indoor environment with air conditioning and/or fans, even if you leave.
- Exercise Safely: Instead of midday walks, runs, or outdoor time when the sun is at it’s hottest, take your pets out in the morning or late afternoon when it cools off.
- Grooming: Keeping pets, and especially long-haired pets, well-groomed, to help them stay cool and free of matted fur, hot spots, and other skin and coat conditions.
- Shade: When outdoors with your pet, make sure there are shady places for water and rest breaks.
- Ground Temperature: Do not walk pets on sidewalks or the street. Concrete and asphalt can easily burn sensitive paw pads. Check first by placing your palm on the ground surface.
- Parasite Prevention: Ticks, fleas and other parasites are at their peak during the summer. Protect your pets from dangerous parasites that carry avoidable illnesses by maintaining preventive care.
- Swimming Safety: Any time your pet is around water, they need to be supervised. Not all dogs are excellent swimmers and can easily succumb to fatigue or an accident. If you have a pool, install a barrier around the pool. When allowing your pets to swim at the pool, lake, pond, or beach, make sure they wear a doggie lifejacket, fitted especially for them.
- Traveling: Long road trips with your pet requires an extra level of diligence. Make sure to keep plenty of cool, fresh water on hand and secure them with a harness or carrier. Never leave your pet in a parked hot car, for any length of time.
Dr. Charles Whitworth and staff are available to help you have a made-in-the-shade, fun-filled summer of adventure and enjoyment. Whitworth Animal Clinic provides pet grooming, parasite prevention, vaccinations and much more. Call (256) 830-1503 to schedule an appointment today. Keep your pet summer-safe and enjoy!