The heat is already on for most of us in the southern half of the country, and where did spring go? Being prepared for the early blaze of warm weather often means cranking up the central air, adding refrigerant to our vehicle’s air conditioner systems, and stocking up on sunscreen. When it comes to pets and their owners, summer pet safety is at the top of our list.
While there’s nothing quite as fun as frolicking outside with Fido or lounging poolside with Fluffy, recognizing common mistakes that pet owners make is key to keeping our furry friends safe this summer. At Leon Valley, we’re happy to offer the following summer pet safety tips.
5 Summer Pet Safety Reminders
- You can never have enough water. Whether heading down the highway on a road trip or going for a walk in the park, it’s important to carry plenty of water. Dehydration can occur quickly, even when temperatures are moderate, and especially if you and your pet are doing something active, like hiking or running. Even if you have a new car, flat tires and other problems can occur, so plan ahead by keeping a gallon or more of water in your vehicle. You may not need it, but consider the emergencies that can ensue without it.
- Humidity matters. Although we often focus on ambient temperatures, the humidity index plays a big role in how hot it actually feels. Humidity is also dangerous for pets since this moisture makes it more difficult for them to cool off (pets pant in order to release moisture, thereby acting as their cooling system). On humid days, plan on going for walks early in the morning or after the sun has set, and give special attention to dogs with breathing difficulties, such as brachycephalic pets.
- Ouch! Surface temps can be dangerous. Does the concrete feel hot, hot, hot to you? Then assume the same is true for your pet’s sensitive paws. Sand, packed dirt, asphalt, concrete, and wood decks can all turn into scorchers on days with over 90 degree temps. Before you allow your pet to risk getting burned, place your hand palm-side down on these surfaces. If it’s uncomfortable or hot, wait until a cooler time of day to enjoy the fresh air with your fur pal. We also recommend booties for added paw protection.
- Keep them cool. Even with indoor access, pets need the same level of temperature control as we do to stay comfortable. When you’re away from home, be sure to use the air conditioning for your pet or at least provide fans and shade. Sun shades over windows can help keep the interior cool without cranking up your air, too. And don’t forget to leave plenty of fresh water!
- Make friends with early mornings. Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you need to sit on the couch with your pet all summer long. Set your alarm for sunrise, and enjoy a stroll to the park or a game in the backyard. If the temperatures are still too warm for your four-legged friend, invest in some new toys, games, food puzzles, or other indoor activities for mental and physical enrichment.