6 Ways To Keep Your Pets Safe In The Summer Heat
With summertime in full swing, more and more people are heading outdoors and looking for ways to enjoy the warmer weather. And while it’s always great to include your pet in the family fun there are some things you should keep in mind.
Because, just like the precautions you take for you and your family while in the sun—like staying hydrated and applying sunscreen—it’s important for you to be diligent in applying these same proactive steps to your pet when they’re spending time out in the heat.
And while most dogs and cats love being outdoors, especially when it’s warm and toasty out, some pets may be a bit more sensitive to the heat and may not handle it as well as others due to their thick coats or their inability to pant effectively.
Darker coats absorb more heat than lighter-colored coats. So, if your dog or cat has a thick coat, you may want to consider cutting their hair to a one-inch length for the summer. Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Pekinese and other dogs and cats with short flat faces, can’t cool themselves efficiently and can become overheated. So these breeds shouldn’t be outside for long periods of time.
Signs Your Pet Has Gotten Too Much of The Summer Heat
Anytime your pet is outside whether it be with you or on their own, it’s important to continuously check in on them to determine if the heat is getting to them or not.
But even with close monitoring, it’s still a good idea to provide them with a few necessities. Things like fresh water, a shady place to rest and an opportunity to splash around in the river, a lake or even a small plastic pool.
Always be aware of indications that your pet may be getting dehydrated or overheated by keeping an eye on their tongue and their behavior.
Dogs remove heat by panting and if they get too hot, their tongue will hang completely out of his or her mouth, you may also notice their tongue “cupping” at the end.
In addition, their tongue or gums may become bright red too.
If your dog becomes dehydrated their ability to cool themselves will also become hampered. And if they do become dehydrated you’ll notice that they may drool excessively, become lethargic and their eyes may become glassy and/or bloodshot. If notice any of these signs, you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
Cats, on the other hand, will use their saliva to keep themselves cool. They’ll lick their fur and as it evaporates it will create a cooling effect. So, dehydration can really hamper their ability to stay cool as well.
Prevention is always the best way to keep your pets safe and there are ways to keep your pet cool on even the hottest of summer days.
Here are six ways you can keep your pet safe during the hot summer months…
- Never leave your pets in a hot car
It seems obvious that you shouldn’t leave your pet in a hot car during the summer, but so many people do. Even if you’re parked in a shady area, inside temperatures can quickly reach dangerous levels in as little as just a few minutes. The interior of your car can reach temperatures exceeding 140 degrees in just a matter of minutes, and unfortunately, it can often be fatal for animals left inside the car.
- Avoid hot concrete or pavement
If you allow your pet on hot concrete or pavement during the summer, they could severely burn their paws. Remember, your pet is close to the ground too, meaning they are closer to the source of the heat. For them not only is the surface of the ground hot and potentially dangerous but they are more apt to become overheated too, simply because of the overwhelming heat that comes off of those surfaces.
- Keep their water bowl full
I mentioned it above but it’s worth repeating. Always keep access to fresh, cold water available to your pet at all times. It’s also a good idea to place bowls of water throughout the house and in a few places outdoors. If the water is outside, try to keep it in a shaded area and change it often so it remains as cool as possible. You can also fill a large bowl with ice cubes to keep your pet cool.
- Use shading and pools
If your pet spends a lot of time outside, check on them throughout the day. Also, make sure you’re providing ample shade and shelter, so they don’t spend too much time in direct sunlight. You can also set out a kiddie pool to allow them to cool themselves when the need arises.
- Keep time outside to a minimum
If your pet is susceptible to overheating, it’s best to restrict their time outside as much as possible. Keep walks short, and playtime brief. And always allow them to cool off inside in between.
- Keep an eye out for pets in danger and report it
During the summer, it’s extremely important to keep your eye out for pets in dangerous situations. Pet parents can be neglectful and unfortunately, they can also be forgetful. If you see any signs of an animal struggling or in a situation that could become problematic or deadly, it’s best to report it to the proper local authorities.
The summer is a great time to relax and enjoy the outdoors, with these simple tips your pet can now enjoy them right alongside you.