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Five Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer
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Five Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer

by
Jul 28th, 2014

Summer is a time for apartment residents to enjoy great weather, hang out with friends over barbecue and brews until the late summer sun fades, and play with and exercise their pets.

While it is probably true your pet enjoys some of the things you do about summertime, such as the time you get to spend together, your dog or cat is built and dressed differently than you and has different needs. To keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy this summer, follow these tips.

Keep Your Pet Cool

You might love the heat, but that doesn’t mean your pet does. While you can take your dog for short walks with outdoor temperatures in the nineties, it’s important to pay attention to his or her gait and panting. Pick up on cues that tell you your dog has had enough.

When you return to your pet-friendly apartment, make sure the water dish is full and encourage your dog to drink, adding ice if he or she prefers cool water or likes to play with ice cubes. If you spend a day at the park or the beach and you want to bring your pet, keep them safe by ensuring he or she has access to shade and water. And never, ever leave your dog in the car with the windows rolled up while you run errands!

Don’t Let those Paws Burn

That walk your furry friend is all riled up over could be her last for quite some time unless you test the heat radiating from the asphalt. If it’s been hot out, check the temperature of the asphalt with the  back of your hand. Or, if you don’t want to touch the asphalt, hover  your hand a few inches off the ground and see if it feels much warmer than the air temperature. Sand at the beach, especially in the afternoon, can also burn the pads of your pet’s paws. If possible, walk your dog on grassy areas or in the morning before the sun has had the time to start baking the ground. I always like to say, if it’s too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your pets paws.

It’s also possible for your pet to suffer from sunburn, something you can keep your pet safe from by limiting his or her exposure to ultraviolet light to less than 30 minutes during the heat of the day.

Think About Bugs

Mosquitoes pester you during the summer, but they are only one of a trio of small insects that seek to get under your pet’s furry coat. Fleas and ticks are a general nuisance that can cause your pet to scratch her skin raw and even open it. Mosquitoes carry and transmit heartworm, so make sure to give your pet preventative medication.

Familiarize Yourself with Heat Stroke Symptoms

Like their human owners, pets who spend too much time in the heat without proper hydration and cover are susceptible to heat stroke, or hyperthermia. Early signs include rapid breathing, heavier-than-usual panting, and excessive drooling. If you recognize these symptoms, check her gums and and teeth to see if they are bright red rather than their usual pink. If they are, apply isopropyl alcohol to your pet’s paw pads, encourage her to suck on ice chips, and use Pedialyte or something similar to restore her electrolyte level. Symptoms of advanced heat stroke, white or blue gums and uncontrollable urination, are a sign you should seek medical attention immediately.

Know Your Vet Info

In the event your pet suffers from heat stroke, gets a severe paw burn, or has an accident this summer, having her veterinarian’s contact details on you can save precious time and help you keep your pet safe.

Keep these tips in mind as you and your four-legged friend play throughout the summer, and you should be able to keep your pet safe from the harms the season brings. Live Life + Love Life with your dog, cat, or other beloved pet this summer.

What is your favorite way to beat the heat and do something fun with your pet during the summertime?

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View All Posts by Jason Ernst
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