As the warmer weather rolls in, you want to get outside and enjoy it. Of course, you love taking Fido with you! Just remember that while you can shed the layers of clothing you’ve bundled up in all winter, your dog doesn’t have that same advantage. Here are some tips from the ASPCA for exercising with your pet under a summer sun:
• Keep a close eye on your canine companion. If your pet seems tired and doesn’t want to continue exercising, don’t force her, and make sure she gets plenty of fresh, clean water.
• Watch for symptoms of overheating. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, and they’re much closer to the hot pavement. If your pet is panting more than usual or having difficulty breathing, let him rest in the shade for a while.
• Stay indoors during the heat of the day. Exercise during the cooler times of the day for your dog’s comfort, such as around dawn, dusk, or in the evening.
• Swimming unsupervised isn’t safe. Not all pups can swim, so don’t leave your pet unattended around large bodies of water. If you’re out on a boat or in a deep pool, get her a life vest to ensure her safety.
• A dog’s fur helps regulate body temperature. Even if your dog has long hair, don’t just shave it off. His fur coat has layers to it, and removing them makes it more difficult for him to stay cool during the hot days and could lead to a painful sunburn.
As the blistering sun beats down, your clothing clings to your body, your sunglasses aren’t quite adequate, and you long for a cool blast of A/C. Sound familiar? Those boiling, sticky days of summer can be tough on us – and equally challenging for pets. Your favorite furry pal will be relying on you to keep him comfortable as the temperature climbs, so keep these summer pet safety tips in mind.
You know the dangers of leaving children in parked cars, especially on hot days – the same goes for pets. Resist the temptation to leave your pet inside, no matter how quick you think that errand might be. According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes, even with the windows opened slightly.
Though exercise is undoubtedly important for your pet, it can do more harm than good on hot days. Limit your pet’s exercise on sweltering days, and consider spending that quality time together in the early morning or later in the evening, when temperatures aren’t extreme. The Humane Society recommends adjusting the intensity and duration of the exercise according to the temperature. Remember that asphalt will be scorching on summer days, so have some sympathy for your pet’s paws, and let your buddy romp on the grass when possible. Keep plenty of water on hand as well to prevent dehydration.
Invitation to Party?
You might want your loyal pal to be your “plus one” at pool parties and summer gatherings, but be ready to keep an eye on him. Never leave your pet unsupervised around water, and try to keep him from drinking the water. The ASPCA warns that pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can upset your pet’s stomach. And speaking of your pet’s tummy, remember that “people food” may give him digestive trouble. The ASPCA recommends keeping alcohol, raisins, grapes, onions, and chocolate away from your pet.
Window to the World
Ahhh… You and your pet are safely inside. Maybe you’ve opened a window if there’s a break in the heat – but don’t relax quite yet. Your curious pets, especially cats, can be seriously injured if they fall out of an open window. The ASPCA recommends a common-sense approach: Keep unscreened windows closed, and make sure screened windows are properly secured.