When the weather is classically wonderful (that is, June through August), a dangerous situation can feel somewhat inconceivable, as if danger only happens to someone else. Sure, summer is the season for kicking back and catching up on leisurely activities, but it’s also a time for important safety reminders.
Summer risks can present problems for our pets when we’re busy with something else. That’s why your Town & Country veterinarians encourage you to err on the side of caution with our summer pet safety tips.
Summer pet safety hinges on keeping your pet cool and hydrated. This balance can be tough to strike in high heat and humidity. Always keep your pet in the shade when outdoors, or encourage him or her to stay inside the home with the air conditioning and fans on. Place water bowls throughout the home and backyard, and:
- Keep exercise hours to dawn and dusk, when it’s not quite as hot
- Keep your pet on the grass instead of hot asphalt, concrete, sand, or gravel
- Bring extra water and a collapsible bowl when on a walk or traveling by car
- Don’t push your pet’s exertion level too much; take breaks as needed
- Keep your pet cool with a bandana around the collar that has been soaked in cold water and frozen
Because senior pets, young animals, brachycephalic breeds, and those with health conditions are at increased risk of heat stroke, we encourage you to keep a very close eye on their well-being. Heat stroke and dehydration qualify as real pet emergencies, so please don’t wait to contact us.
What About Swimming?
Wading pools are an excellent diversion from the scorching heat. They are fun to splash around in to cool off. However, swimming in streams, rivers, lakes, and larger pools are also quite attractive to many pets.
Many dogs enjoy retrieving buoyant objects in the water, and can desire can hardly be held back when it comes to swimming. What’s an owner to do? The bottom line is always supervision. Please never allow your dog to swim out of your sight, and watch very carefully for signs of struggle or exhaustion.
Backyard Pool Safety
Our following pool suggestions aim to support your overall summer pet safety tactics.
- Have a fence installed around the pool’s perimeter.
- Wire an alarm system that notifies you when the pool area has been breached.
- Do not place furniture or pool equipment near the fence for your pet to launch off of and into the water without your notice.
- Remove any chemicals or electrical wires off the ground.
- Place a protective cover or net on the pool’s surface and remove any enticing toys from the pool.
- Introduce swimming to your pet slowly over time, ensuring that it’s a positive experience.
- Always have the same steps or ramp available so your pet remembers how to enter and exit the water.
- Provide fresh drinking water so your pet doesn’t imbibe in the pool water.
- Hose off your pet after a swim to remove chlorine.
- Again, supervision is the key to overall summer pet safety.
Summer Pet Safety for All
Summer pet safety must also include parasite prevention, core vaccinations, and overall exercise and nutritional needs. If you have any doubts about your pet’s health this summer, we encourage you to reach out to our friendly and supportive staff members.