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Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the weather with your furry friends. But it’s important to be aware of the dangers that can come with summer heat and humidity. In this article, we’ll discuss some practical tips for keeping your pet safe and comfortable this season. From flea and tick prevention to managing allergies, we’ve got you covered.
5 Summer Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs
Keeping your pets protected in the summertime comes down to being proactive and prepared. Here are our top tips to help you do just that:
1. Keep Your Pets Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do for your pet during summer is to make sure they stay hydrated. Provide fresh, clean water at all times and take frequent breaks to offer water while exercising or playing outside.
You should also keep an eye out for signs of dehydration[i] in your pet. These include excessive panting, lethargy, dry mouth, and sunken eyes. If you think your pet is dehydrated, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
Dehydration can be a serious condition, so it’s vital to take precautionary measures to prevent it. Other ways to keep your pet hydrated include adding ice cubes to their water bowl, investing in a pet water fountain, and making homemade bone broth popsicles.
2. Make Water Safety a Priority
Lots of dogs, and even some cats[ii], enjoy the water. And swimming is a fantastic way for pets to beat the summer heat. But before you let your pet take the plunge, make sure to take a few safety precautions.
First and foremost, never leave your pet unattended around water. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen. And even if your pet is a strong swimmer, they can easily become exhausted and get into trouble in the water.
If you’re planning on taking your pet swimming, it’s always a good idea to use a life jacket for added safety. You can find life jackets specifically designed for pets online or at pet stores.
Finally, be aware of the dangers of algae and bacteria in standing water[iii]. Avoid letting your pet drink from ponds or lakes, and don’t let them swim in water that looks murky or stagnant.
3. Limit Time in the Heat
When the temperatures start to rise, don’t forget to limit your pet’s time outdoors. Pets can’t sweat like humans, so they’re not able to cool down as efficiently in hot weather. This can lead to heat exhaustion or even heatstroke, which can be fatal.
Avoid walking pets at the hottest times of the day, sticking to early morning and evenings when temps are a bit lower. This is especially important for breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs, who are more susceptible to heatstroke.
On very hot days, it’s best to keep your pet inside in a cool, air-conditioned space. And never leave them alone in a car, even for just a few minutes. The temperature inside your car can rise almost 20℉ in just ten minutes[iv] – even if the windows are cracked open.
4. Guard Against Seasonal Allergies
Did you know that pets can suffer from seasonal allergies[v] just like humans? Symptoms include itchiness and skin irritation, obsessive paw licking, ear infections, and excessive shedding.
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you identify the cause and determine the best course of treatment. Medications like Apoquel and Atopica may be prescribed, since they’re commonly used to treat and control itching and irritation related to seasonal allergies in pets.
There are also a few things you can do to help prevent seasonal allergies in your pet. These include bathing and brushing them regularly, running an air purifier in your home, and using allergy preventative medications.
5. Stay Up-To-Date on Flea and Tick Prevention
Finally, don’t forget to keep up with flea and tick prevention during summer. While protecting your pet from parasites requires a year-round commitment[vi], it’s especially important during the warmer months when these stubborn pests are more active.
There are a variety of flea and tick preventatives available for pets (including the FDA-approved NexGard and puppy-safe Simparica TRIO), so talk to your veterinarian to find the best option for your furry friend. And be sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your pet is properly protected.
It’s also a good idea to wash your pet’s bedding regularly and vacuum your home frequently to help prevent an infestation. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to fleas and ticks!
Protect Your Pet This Summer with PetMeds®
Keeping your pet safe and comfortable this summer is important, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these simple tips, you can help your furry friend enjoy the warm weather worry-free.
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[i] Becker, M., DVM. Tips to Spot and Prevent Dehydration in Pets | Vetstreet. (2016, June). Retrieved May, 2022, from http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/tips-to-spot-and-prevent-dehydration-in-pets
[ii] Can Cats Swim? | PetPlace. (2019, August). Retrieved May, 2022, from https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-behavior-training/can-cats-swim/
[iii] When Water is Dangerous: Algae Poisoning in Pets| Animal Emergency Care. (2021, June). Retrieved May, 2022, from https://www.animalemergencycare.net/when-water-is-dangerous-algae-poisoning-in-pets/
[iv] Pets in vehicles| American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved May, 2022, from https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/pets-vehicles
[v] Signs your pet has seasonal allergies — and what you can do to help| Animal Human Society. Retrieved May, 2022, from https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/news/signs-your-pet-has-seasonal-allergies-and-what-you-can-do-help
[vi] The Educated Client: Why Your Pet Needs Year-Round Protection| Animal Human Society. (2018, June). Retrieved May, 2022, from https://www.dvm360.com/view/why-your-pet-needs-yearround-protection