With the first day of summer, June 20, quickly approaching and the weather starting to heat up, it’s time to start thinking about how the heat might affect your pet. Summer means more time outdoors, days at the beach, beautiful hikes, and more. But if you haven’t considered the right summer pet care tips for your furry friend, summer can be a dangerous time. Here are some of the most important summer pet care tips you need to consider as the days warm-up:
Keep Pests Away
Summer is a big season for pests that could put your pet at risk. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos carry tapeworms, heartworms, and other diseases. You may want to consider having a pest control company spray around your home to keep these pests away, not only for your pets but also for your family.
For places where you can’t control the pests, like out in the woods when you’re camping, or at the park, you’ll want to have an all-natural pest control option for your pet. Talk with your vet about the best options for keeping your pet safe from pests. Then once you’ve got that option, don’t forget it. A pest prevention cream won’t do any good to your pet if you never apply it.
Even if you’re taking active steps to keep pests away, it doesn’t hurt to check regularly to make sure none have tried to make a home in your pet’s fur. Check for ticks fleas often. Ask your vet to teach you how to spot them. Following these summer pet care tips to keep your pet safe from pests can have a huge impact on your pet’s safety.
Provide Shade And Water For The Heat
One of the number one summer pet care tips is to beware of the heat and provide shade and water for your pet. People sweat to help bring down their body temperature. Pets can’t do that. They will drink water or pant to bring down their body temperature. Because it’s harder for them to cool down, it’s important to keep them from situations where they could overheat. Always have cool, fresh water for your pet to drink, especially on warm days. Make sure to provide shaded areas for them, whether that’s under a covered patio or an umbrella at the park or beach.
While you’ll do your best to keep them from overheating, it’s important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Some identifiable signs of overheating are:
- Heavy panting
- Difficulty walking
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Dry gums and thick drool
If your pet is showing any of these signs, you need to act quickly. Move them to a cool, shaded place, give them water, and cool them down with wet towels. Get them to a vet as soon as possible for further care. Never put your dog in cold water if they’re showing signs of overheating, the quick change of temperature could put them into shock.
Never Leave Your Pet In The Car
You’ve seen them, the countless videos on the internet or first responders or citizens smashing a car window to let a dog out of a hot car. It tugs at your heartstrings, right? Don’t be that person. Even if the windows are rolled down, the car can heat well above tolerable temperatures for your furry friend. On a hot day, it can take less than 10 minutes for the interior of a car to rise about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In 15 minutes an animal can die from heatstroke. Even if you’re just running into the grocery store to grab one thing, leaving your pet in the car is a dangerous, bad idea. Following these basic summer pet care tips will make a huge difference for the health andsafety of your pet.
Take A Walk
Walks have great health benefits for both you and especially for your furry friends. It’s time for them to get some exercise, fresh air, and an opportunity to socialize with other dogs. So walks during the summer are a great choice. You just have to take into consideration the warmer temperatures. If you usually take walks in the afternoon, that may no longer be the best option. Early afternoon is the hottest time of the day with the most direct sunlight. Consider taking morning or evening walks.
If your walking path is over asphalt or concrete, you may want to consider providing animal booties to protect your pet’s feet. Your pet’s paws are very sensitive and hot asphalt or concrete can quickly burn them.
No matter how well trained your pet is, make sure to keep them on a leash unless they are in a contained area where off-leash is allowed. The last thing you want to deal with on a fun summer day is animal control if your pet escapes. These summer pet care tips will ensure that you and your pet can be safe and have a great time when outside.
Have A Safe Outdoor Space For Your Pet
One of the most important summer pet care tips for your pet is ensuring that they have a safe outdoor space. Your pet will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time outdoors, so there are a few things you need to consider to make sure your area is safe and ready for your pet.
The first thing to consider is the fencing situation. Whether in your front, or back yard, you need to make sure that not only you have the proper fencing for your pet, but that it will hold up well. A short simple fence may work for some pets, but if your pet is larger and can jump, you’ll want to consider something taller and a bit more sturdy. A proper fence will protect your pet from running away and could protect you from any issues that could arise if your pet were to attack or chase someone else.
You’ll also need to consider the landscaping in your yard. If you have a prominent water feature, it may not be the best place for your pet to play. They could slip on the wet rocks, or even drown depending on how deep the water is. Proper lawn care is also vital as unkempt grass can be a breeding area for pests and other dangerous animals like snakes or rats. Following these summer pet care tips will ensure that your pet can be safe while outside in your yard.
Have An Emergency Plan Prepared
Regardless of how much you prepare, unfortunately, emergencies can still arise. Whether from an unknown health problem kicking it, or an accident while out and about, emergencies are stressful, especially when it comes to the safety of your furry friends. Having an emergency plan for your pet will help those scary situations to be a little less stressful and will help you to act more quickly.
The first part of an animal emergency plan should be having a trusted vet you can work with. Keep their contact information on your phone for quick access. If you are not in your hometown, know where the closest animal hospital is. Following these summer pet care tips for an emergency plan will help you to remain calm in those scary situations.
Use Caution Around Water
Whether you have a small pool outside for your dog to swim in, or you’re taking them for a lake day, a swim is a great way to help your pet stay cool. But don’t assume right away that they’re a pro swimmer. Yes, they may be able to swim, but just like people, they can get in scary situations in the water. Keep an eye on your pet while they’re in the water, regardless of how deep the water is. Follow these water safety tips to keep your pet safe this summer:
- Before you dive into the deep end, try swimming in a more controlled area to test out your pet’s swimming abilities.
- Never leave your pet unattended, even if they are a strong swimmer.
- Teach your pet some basics, such as where to enter and exit the water, whether on a ladder or at a more shallow location.
- No matter how ridiculous it may look, a pet lifejacket is a great option, especially if you’ll be bringing your pet on a boat.
If you remember to follow these summer pet care tips when near bodies of water, you’ll be able to rest assured that you can have a fun, safe time with your pet.
Temporary Pet Care For When You’re Away
If you’re planning on traveling this summer, you may not be able to bring your pet along to all of your destinations. You’ll have to consider short or long-term pet care for when you’re away. If you have friends or family in the area that can check in on your pet and make sure they get food, water, and bathroom breaks throughout the day, that may be a great short-term option. If you plan on being gone for longer than a few days, you may want to consider another option, like a dog kennel. You’ll be surprised at how many “luxurious” options there are for long term pet care. Try a site like Rover.com Rover to find pet care options in your area.
Proper Grooming For Your Pet
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), U.S. pet owners spend more than $60 billion on their pets each year, and proper grooming is no area to skimp. Proper grooming for your pet can protect them from things like overheating and pests. Especially for pets, with long fur, you’ll want to schedule regular grooming from a trusted groomer.
While trimming your pet’s fur can keep them from overheating, you shouldn’t shave them completely. Shaving your pet will expose their skin more directly to the sun and could cause them to burn. If your pet naturally has shorter fur or no fur, you may consider a pet sunscreen. This pet care tip, while basic, can make a big difference for your pets comfort and safety during the warm summer.
Beware Of Leaked Chemicals
With your pet spending more time outside, whether for walks or just for some fresh air, you’ll need to be more aware of the dangers around them. One big problem you could encounter this summer could be leaked chemicals. As people are bringing out their summer machinery, lawnmowers, four-wheelers, ATVs, and boats, chemicals like antifreeze, oil, and gasoline will undoubtedly be found on the ground. These chemicals are deadly for pets, so you’ll need to make sure to keep an eye out as your pet spends time outside. If your tools have leaked these chemicals, make sure you properly clean the area before your pet can get to it. If your pet comes in contact with these kinds of chemicals, you’ll need to seek emergency care immediately. Before this happens, make sure that you have emergency care steps planned, such as knowing the location for the closest animal hospital or the contact information for an on-call vet. Better safe than sorry.
Summer should be a time to relax, have fun, and enjoy yourself. If you follow these summer pet care tips, you can rest assured that your pet will be safe in whatever situation you find yourself. So kick back, relax, and enjoy your summer with your furry friend by your side.