Bring on the summer! What activity does your pet like best? Maybe it the simple pleasure of rolling around blissfully in the green grass, leaping into the air to capture a Frisbee in his teeth, or sprinting after a neon yellow tennis ball. Soak up the fun, but keep these summer pet safety tips in mind.
We’re Having a Heat Wave
Though a walk around the neighborhood can be relaxing for you and your pet, common sense dictates that it’s not always a possibility in the summer. Avoid the midday swelter, and opt for early morning or late evening strolls. Shorten your walk when necessary, and keep your pup hydrated. Remember that your pet’s feet aren’t protected by sneakers, so lead him away from scorching pavement that can burn his paw pads. In addition, never leave your pet alone in a parked car, no matter how short the errand or how pleasant the day. According to the Humane Society, even if it’s only 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 116 degrees in less than an hour.
“Paws” at the Pool
Splashing around poolside or taking a dip in the cool water might be the epitome of summer fun for you, but not necessarily for your pet. When possible, teach your dog to swim and consider outfitting him in a bright life vest; PetMD cautions that accidents can happen even if your pet is wearing a life vest, so stay vigilant. Even if your pup happily takes to the water like a fish, never leave him unsupervised near a pool.
Keep your furry pal from drinking chlorinated water, especially large amounts. The AKC recommends that you gently rinse him off after he exits the pool and then dab his ears with a dry towel. Remember that pool-time might be a challenge for puppies, short-legged dogs, arthritic or debilitated pets, and pups with vision loss, so consider spending quality time indoors instead.
Those scraggly weeds might be an eyesore begging to be eradicated, or maybe you’re ready to give extra encouragement to your slow-growing plants, but think again if you own a pet. The Humane Society recommends avoiding pesticides, fertilizers, or gardening products that can pose hazards to pets. And while you’re slathering yourself in sunscreen, keep in mind that the common zinc oxide formulation is only intended for you, the pet parent. Protect Fido’s ears and nose with a pet-safe sunscreen created specifically for dogs.
Where, Oh Where, Can He Be?
Summer brings with it all sorts of curiosities and even a few scares for your pet. Even calm or well-behaved pets might scamper after a taunting squirrel, or flee after a turbulent bout of thunder or fireworks. Bring your pet indoors before stormy weather or a pyrotechnic display that might cause him discomfort. Make sure his ID tags and microchip information are up-to-date.