Summer is here and for many of us, that means spending time outdoors with our pets. While it’s great to share the summer fun with our furry friends, some activities you enjoy may not be safe for your pet. Pets can get dehydrated, over heated and even sunburned, so a few precautions are in order to keep them safe and you free of large vet bills. Here are a few summer safety tips for your pet:
- Pets need fresh water and shade when outdoors. Be sure the water bowl can’t be knocked over, as your pet can become dehydrated very quickly without water.
- Dogs should be supervised around swimming pools. While some dog breeds are excellent swimmers, many dogs aren’t. Don’t let your pet drink pool water, as the chemicals can be harmful. Be sure your pet wears a life jacket when boating.
- Asphalt gets piping hot in the summer and your dog is close to the ground, so limit walks during the hottest part of the day. Dogs can overheat quickly when the asphalt is radiating heat and their paw pads are burning hot.
- Beware of open windows if you live in a high-rise building. Every year, pets fall out of open windows and are seriously injured or killed. All open windows should have well-secured screens.
- Products such as sunscreen and insect repellents should only be used on pets if they are specifically labeled for use on animals.
- Summer parties and barbecues are very much a part of summer fun, but human food and drink can be dangerous to your pet. Pets should never consume alcohol, chocolate, onions or grapes, for example. It’s best to keep pets away from human food.
- Pets should stay inside if fireworks are being used nearby.
Finally, pets should never be left in a closed vehicle in hot weather, not even for a few minutes. Pets can be overcome by the heat and suffer a fatal heat stroke, even with the vehicle windows open. The Arizona Humane Society currently has an awareness campaign for this problem aptly named No More Hot Dogs. I’ll add to that by saying cool cats and dogs are safe and happy cats and dogs.