Tips For Summer Pet Safety
Summer is the season of exploring the outdoors more than ever. It’s hard to sit inside when there are trails to blaze and rivers to swim. Our four-legged friends want to stretch their limbs too and take on new adventures with you.
As pet owners, it’s important that we know how to keep our pets safe from the heat, bugs, and hidden dangers of summer fun.
Preventative Safety Tips for Dogs
Summer pet safety starts with your veterinarian. Make an appointment to ensure your cats and dogs are current on vaccines and medication. This is especially important if you’re going to travel or take your pets to parks during the summer.
If you are going to be traveling, a local humane society is a great resource. They’ll have a good understanding of the area and concerns that you need to have.
Also, as summer comes to an end, remember that not everything dies off in cold weather. Flea and tick medication is important to continue through October. Lyme disease is dangerous as long as the ticks are feeding. Some species of ticks, the adult stage deer ticks, actually begin to feed around the time of the first frost. Keep that in mind when deciding how long you’re going to keep your pets on medication.
Tails on the Trail
Those paws are made for walking or gracefully running over inanimate objects. There are a few general safety tips to remember when using trails. First, if the trail is paved, make sure that it’s not too hot for the paw pads. This blog from Adopt-a-Pet recommends testing the pavement temperature beforehand. Press the back of your hand against the pavement for seven seconds to determine if it’s too hot. If your dog is willing, you could also try a pair of breathable dog booties to protect their paws on the pavement.
Also, when you’re on the trail, remember to keep your dog cool. This is an important pet safety tip to remember all summer long. Let them stop and rest every 30 minutes in the shade. Pack their own bowl and bottle of water to suffice for the entire hike. Our foldable Aqua-Fur Dog Bowls hold 1L of water, are just as easy to clean as they are lightweight enough to carry in your pack or carabine to your hip. If their water and yours is too heavy, invest in a canine backpack of their own. Cooling packs are available as well – checkout how Bustle compares the best cooling vests for dogs.
Leash Etiquette with Dogs
Most areas have specific trails that are welcoming to dogs, both on- and off-leash. Always abide by the leash rules for the safety of everyone on the trail. Scared, grumpy, or protective, every dog deserves their day on the trail. Help make that happen by respecting the trail rules.
Off-leash trails are great for dogs and dog owners who know how to play well with others. Remember though, just because it’s off-leash doesn’t mean it’s only meant for you and your dog. Respect the pace and space of others, especially young children.
Camping with Dogs
Bring an extra camp chair, Fido’s coming! We’re not sure who loves it more, them or us? Waking up to birds chirping, sitting around a campfire and playing frisbee at camp. Here are a few summer dog safety tips to get you both through the camping season.
First, avoiding heat exhaustion on a hot summer day is as important at camp as it is on the trail. Provide them with shade, cool water and rest. A Glow-in-the-Dark Aqua-Fur Bowl is great for camping. When the sun goes down and the cooler gets a little lighter, you can still easily find the dog bowl!
Also, consider buying sunscreen for your dog if it’s going to be a sunny weekend at camp. Coats that are white, light-colored or hairless are more susceptible to sun damage and could lead to skin cancer, just like in humans!
Similarly to the trail advice, abide by the leash rules. There could be a lot of other dogs at camp, not all are approachable, especially in their own camp territory. Avoid a trip-ruining moment by leashing up your dog at camp with easy access to fresh water and a shaded area.
Water Days with the Dogs
Swimming is a popular pastime for many dogs and it can be a great way to keep them cool on a hot day. Whether you take them to a lake, river, pond, or pool, be sure to always watch them while they swim. Leg cramps can occur and cause them to panic while they’re swimming. Plus, dogs don’t always know when they’re too tired and should stop playing. They’ll swim until they can’t anymore and that’s when you might need to dive in and bring them to shore.
Of course, we all know salt water isn’t drinkable, but did you remember drinks for the dog? Always bring plenty of fresh water, good snacks, and an Aqua-Fur Bowl so they can rehydrate and replenish their energy after the excitement and free-for-all takes place.
Be sure to take note of any strong currents if by a river or the ocean and avoid playing in these areas. Not all dogs know how to swim upstream properly, and can get in a dangerous situation if chasing a ball or stick into rougher waters.
Road Trips with Furry Friends
Four-legged friends, fast cars, and freedom. If you’re planning a road trip with your fur-baby, check out a few travel tips from our Road Trip Hacks blog.
One important rule for summer road trips, in particular, is to never leave your cat or dog locked in the car. The temperature in a parked car on a hot summer day can rise fast. A few moments in a hot car, even with the windows cracked, can cause a fatal heat stroke.
Here are a few Gadgets That Keep Your Pets Safe From The Heat from Go Pet-Friendly. Their site also has some wonderful destination guides on where to go, pet-friendly lodging, and everything in between.
Planning ahead is key for road trips or even short outings. Be sure to keep a pet-pack in your car to quickly grab and take with you, including a leash, carabiner and a Silipint Aqua-Fur Bowl. If you have to make a quick stop, you can leash up your pet outside (in the shade) with a full water bowl.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
As the temperatures rise throughout the summer months, our animals depend on us to keep them safe. Heat-related emergencies are common as the hot weather sets in. Keep these summer safety tips in mind and learn the signs of heat exhaustion.
- Difficulty breathing or excessive panting
- Weakness, stupor, or even collapse
- Increase heart and respiratory rate
- Seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomit, or temperatures rising to 104°F
If your pet is experiencing symptoms, the most important thing to do is cool them down slowly. Get them in a bathtub with a few inches of cool water. Then, let cool water shower over them as you massage their limbs to help with circulation. Be sure to have the emergency veterinarian phone number nearby. After you start to cool your pet down, call them to explain the situation and they’ll help with the next steps.
Embrace Summer Fun
Summer brings all sorts of adventures to you and your pets. Remember these summer safety tips so you and your four-legged friends can focus on the fun!