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Summer Warnings for Pet Parents: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe

Updated: Jun 26

As the hot weather soars and we revel in the sun’s warm embrace, it's important to remember that our furry companions require special attention to stay safe during hot summer days. From poolside precautions to the perils of hot pavement, a few simple steps can ensure that your pets enjoy the season as much as you do. Here are some key summer warnings for pet parents to keep in mind.

 

Heat Stroke and Walking Precautions

Heat stroke is a serious and potentially fatal risk for pets during the summer. According to the CDC, in 2023 there were approximately 2,300 fatalities from heat stroke-related illnesses. The numbers of pet fatalities are not as accurately reported as human cases, but we can safely assume that it mirrors human trends. Avoid walking your pet during the heat of the day and opt for early morning or late evening strolls instead. Even during cooler hours, remain vigilant for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, drooling, and excessive weakness. Always carry water and take breaks in the shade to keep your pet hydrated and cool. Remember, summer nights can still be warm, so keep an eye on the temperature and your pet's behavior. Contact your vet immediately if you think your pet is undergoing signs of a heat stroke.

 

Hot Cars: A Deadly Mistake

Never, under any circumstances, leave your pet inside a turned-off car. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures inside a vehicle can skyrocket in minutes, leading to heat stroke or even death. If you need to run errands, it’s best to leave your pet at home where it’s cool and safe.

 

Pools, Pool Chemicals, and Pool Covers

Pools can be a fantastic way for both humans and pets to cool off, but they come with their own set of hazards. If your pet enjoys a dip, be sure to always supervise them. Not all pets are natural swimmers, and even those who are can tire quickly.


Pool chemicals like chlorine can be harmful if ingested or if they come into contact with your pet's skin. Discourage drinking any pool water, and after a swim, rinse your pet off with fresh water to remove any residual pool chemicals, also giving them fresh water to drink.


Additionally, pool covers, while essential for safety, can be deceptive. A pet may mistake a cover for a solid surface and could become trapped underneath. Always ensure your pool area is secure and your pet is either supervised or kept away.

 

Hot Paws and Pavement Burns

One of the less obvious dangers of summer is hot pavement. Asphalt and concrete can become scorching under the sun, reaching temperatures that can burn your pet's paws. A simple test is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for seven seconds—if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your pet. To avoid burns, walk your pet in the early morning or late evening when the ground is cooler. Special booties can also provide a layer of protection for their sensitive paws.

 

Beach Trips and Hidden Hazards

A trip to the beach can be a delightful adventure for your pet, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Sand can become extremely hot and can also cause irritation if it gets into your pet's eyes or nose. Saltwater can be harmful if ingested, so make sure your pet always has access to fresh water. Additionally, be aware of any foreign bodies your pet might encounter, such as shells or litter, which can pose choking hazards.

 

Sunburn: Protecting Your Pet’s Skin

Yes, pets can get sunburned too, especially those with short or light-colored fur. Apply a pet-safe sunscreen to exposed areas like the nose, ears, and belly. Limit their exposure to direct sunlight and provide plenty of shaded areas for them to retreat to.

 

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your pet stays safe and comfortable throughout the summer. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in making the season enjoyable for everyone. Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy the summer with your furry friends!

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