Summer is the season for backyard barbecues, Fourth of July fireworks, and trips to the beach! And while there’s nothing like enjoying our favorite outdoor activities with our animal companions by our side, it’s important to remember that our pets count on us to keep them safe, so we need to be mindful of summer safety hazards that could impact our pets.
Keep Summer Celebrations Safe
Summers are synonymous with celebrations involving family and friends, but not all of the festivities are appropriate for pets. Keep these summer pet safety tips in mind:
- Remind guests that you have a strict “no sharing” rule, and keep dangerous foods, including alcohol, chocolate, raisins and grapes, foods containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener), and bone-in meats out of reach of pets.
- Consider keeping your pet in a quiet room during parties, and make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date in case your pet should run away.
- Insects are in full force during Florida summers. Make sure your pet is properly protected against fleas and ticks, parasites, and ear mites.
- Consider leaving your pet behind when visiting summer festivals. Noisy fireworks and large crowds can be scary for pets.
Protect Your Pet From Heat Related Illnesses
The hot sun and balmy breezes can spark an increase in your pet’s body temperature, which puts your pet at risk of heat exhaustion. Any animal can overheat, but senior pets, those that are overweight, brachycephalic breeds, and those with certain medical conditions are at an increased risk. Make sure your pet takes frequent rest breaks in the shade and always has access to clean, cool water when outside.
Watch for these signs of heat exhaustion:
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Trouble breathing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Lack of coordination
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet indoors or to a shady area immediately and offer cool (not cold) water. Contact us or the nearest emergency hospital right away for further instructions.
Other Pet Safety Tips for Summer
Pets are part of the family, so it’s natural to want to share summer adventures with your pet. Here are some more tips for protecting your pet from the sun’s effects:
- Take morning or evening walks, or seek out shaded, pet-friendly trails.
- Use pet booties to protect tender paws from hot sand and other surfaces.
- Carry an umbrella or pop-up tent for creating shade when and where you need it.
- Keep fresh drinking water and a travel bowl with you.
- Carry sunscreen made just for pets.
- Protect your pup in a properly fitted life vest when on the water.
- Never leave a pet in a parked car. Ever.