Summer is here and with comes the promise of lots of fun for all the family, including our pets. However, the warmer weather also brings with it some unique pet ownership challenges, particularly when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of your adorable animal.
Here are our top 6 hot weather tips for keeping your pet safe this summer:
Keep your pet hydrated
The warmer temperatures of summer can dramatically increase your pet’s risk of developing a potentially life-threatening condition – dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your pet doesn’t have enough fluid in their body and can turn deadly within a matter of hours. Make sure that your adored animal has access to fresh, cool water at all times of the day and night and check their bowls regularly in case any fluid within has evaporated.
Know the signs of dehydration
It can be very difficult to tell when an animal is unwell, particularly as they are naturally inclined to mask any signs of illness. Knowing the signs of certain conditions can ensure that you get your pet the medical treatment that is needed when time is of the essence. Some of the symptoms of dehydration to be aware of include:
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dry nose
- Not passing urine
If you suspect that your pet might be dehydrated, don’t delay in speaking to your emergency veterinarian.
Provide a shady space
If your precious pet spends a lot of time outdoors, it's essential that they have somewhere to escape to that is out of the direct sun. Pop up a play tent, string up some sheets, or let them have access to indoors if necessary. Many animals like to lie on cool tiled flooring so kitchens and bathrooms may be ideal spaces for them to retreat too when the mercury rises.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in the water
If you have a dog that enjoys a swim, it may be tempting to let them cool off with a paddle on a hot day. While most canines have some natural swimming ability, not all are strong in the water. It’s crucial to make sure that your furry pal can get out of the water without assistance, and that there are no currents or weeds that could hamper their ability to stay afloat. Don’t leave your dog unattended in the water. You could even consider a pet lifejacket to put your mind at rest and make staying afloat easier for your canine companion.
Don’t walk your pet in the middle of the day
The ground can heat up very quickly during the summer, particularly if it is a surface like sand or asphalt. Unfortunately, many dogs are taken to see emergency veterinarians every year with burns to their paws caused by them being taken for walks when the ground temperature is too hot. Avoiding walking in the middle part of the day is fairly obvious, but you can also hold the back of your hand to the ground to check how hot it is before you head out. If it’s too hot to hold your hand there for more than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Dogs left in hot cars and outbuildings die
It’s a scary statement, but it’s entirely true. While many owners are aware of the dangers posed by leaving their pets in hot vehicles, a regrettable number put their pets at risk in this way. It doesn’t even need to be particularly hot outside for temperatures inside a parked car to become life-threatening. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach more than 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Leaving the window cracked won’t make a difference, nor will putting your car in the shade. Outbuildings with a lot of glass can heat up in the same way so avoid leaving your animals alone in these rooms too.