Protect Your Companion: Summer Pet Safety Awareness
Summertime in San Antonio means hot, humid days, and staying cool is the number one priority. It’s also important to protect your pet from the warm weather and intense UV rays.
Proper summer pet safety means adjusting your daily care routine, including exercise and outdoor playtime. To help your companion deal with the dog days of summer, our team has compiled some of the most effective summer pet safety tips.
6 Important Summer Pet Safety Tips
- Keep your pet hydrated. Hydration is important any time of year, but when it’s hot outside, a pet can easily become dehydrated. To encourage your fur friend to drink more water (particularly cats), consider purchasing a water fountain or swap out room temperature water with cold, filtered water throughout the day. You can even add a few ice cubes, which your canine pal will love.
- Turn on air conditioning or fans, even if you’re away. Many pet owners mistakenly believe a cat or dog can tolerate warmer temps. However, your pet is just as affected by hot, uncomfortable environments as you are, so keep your home at a reasonable temperature when you’re away.
- Protect your pet from the sun. Spending time outside with your pet is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, but summer pet safety means taking plenty of shade and water breaks. If you’re on a boat, make sure it includes a sunshade or other cool place. If your pet has a short, light colored coat, consider using a petsafe sunblock (ask us for recommendations). Remember, never use a human sunscreen on your pet, as it may contain harmful ingredients.
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heatstroke is a potentially fatal veterinary emergency that can occur rapidly with little warning. Signs of heat exhaustion/stress include panting, restlessness, red or dry gums, drooling, excessive thirst, or no longer drinking water. Heat stress can quickly become heatstroke, resulting in rapid heart rate, seizures, collapse, and even death. That’s why it’s important to always keep your pet cool and hydrated.
- Keep your pet groomed, but not shaved. While shaving your pet may seem like a logical summer pet safety tip, it can actually inhibit your pet’s ability to stay cool. Fur provides better circulation and helps him or her regulate body temperature. Instead, consider professional pet grooming.
- Protect the paws. From hot asphalt to scalding sand, your pet’s paws need to be protected. Try waiting until the coolest time of day to take walks. Be mindful that ground surfaces can absorb the heat even if the air temperature feels comfortable. When in doubt, feel the ground with your palm to see if it’s safe for those precious paw pads.
When it comes to summer pet safety, we don’t want to forget our smallest companions. From pocket pets to birds, these animals are much more susceptible to the effects of warmer weather. Make sure your tiny pet pal has cool water and a comfortable, climate-controlled sleeping area. He or she should also be kept away from direct sun rays.
From all of us at Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital, stay cool and have a great summer!