Summer Safety Tips

As the warm weather approaches, we all get excited about spending more time outdoors having fun– even our pets! During this time of year, we must take extra care to keep them cool, hydrated, and free from harm. Keeping the following safety tips in mind will help every one enjoy a healthy, happy summer.

Avoid Heatstroke: Too much sun exposure can be dangerous to people as well as pets. Even just a few minutes in the car while running into the store can put your pet at risk for heat stroke. Sunlight hitting the windows can heat up a car to temperatures over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked. It doesn’t even have to be a hot day. Mild days with bright sun can also pose a risk to your pet. Pets left in cars can suffer from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and, in some cases, even death. If you do have to run errands in the warm summer months, only bring your pet if he can join you in the store!

Water Safety: Pets love to cool down in the water, but even if they are good swimmers it is vital that they be supervised while swimming: Pools and hot tubs can be dangerous to your pet, as they jump in to cool down and be unable to get out. If your pool is covered, take care that pet cannot climb underneath. Some breeds, such as Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, are too top heavy to swim unassisted and could possibly drown. For pets that are inexperienced swimmers, doggy-life jackets make a the water fun AND safe! Life jackets will keep your dog afloat, and are a must for pets riding on a boat.

Keeping your dog on a leash: By having your dog on a leash while outside you can avoid many dangers. Leashing can prevent them from getting lost, hurt or from eating things that could make them sick. Many towns have leash laws to help keep dogs safe. It is also important that your dog has proper identification. Name tags and collars are one way to make sure your dog comes back to you. Microchips are another way to help you find your dog in the event that their collar and tags are missing.

Keep your pet cool: On very hot days your pet should have limited sun exposure. If your dog is very active, try switching walks/playtime to early morning or late evening when the day is not at its hottest. If your pet spends most of her day outdoors, make sure there is plenty of shade and plenty of water available. Fresh, cool water is a must for any pet, indoors or out. If you have an elderly, very young or ailing pet try to keep them from the heat, as they cannot always regulate their body temperature. Cool or air conditioned rooms with lots of ventilation are best. Certain breeds with “smushed” faces, (bulldogs, shih tzus and pugs, to name a few) cannot always pant efficiently and should also be kept out of the heat. Also, be careful with overweight and thick coated dogs as they can also have a hard time cooling down.

Sun protection: Pets with light skin and hair are prone to sunburn. They will experience similar symptoms as we humans do from sunburn such as pain, peeling skin and, with prolonged exposure, skin cancer. A bit of sunscreen on more exposed areas (nose, tips of ears, etc.) before going out can help protect them.

Prevent parasitic infestations: Warm weather is heaven for parasites. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are in full force during the spring and summer. Flea infestations can cause several maladies, such as anemia and tapeworm infection. Tick bites can infect our pets with diseases such as Anaplasmosis and Lyme. Mosquito bites can transmit heartworm to our pets. By using preventatives such as K9 Advantix, Feline Revolution, and Sentinel, many medical issues can be avoided. By protecting your pet properly from parasites you can avoid having them in your home as well. Be sure to stop by your to pick up these products or to get more information!

Avoiding toxic chemicals and plants: Lawn fertilizers may contain chemicals that can be harmful, if not fatal, to your pet. Make sure your pets are not exposed to these products. If you have a company treat your lawn, be sure to ask how long until it is safe for your pet to be in the yard. When planting your flower gardens, make sure you pay at