Summer Pet Safety Tips

Dog laying in the grass

After the long winter we experienced this year, many of us pet parents are probably eager to get outside, soak up some sun and make the most out of summer with our pets! While spending time outdoors with our furry friends is always fun, make sure you’re prepared to prevent them from getting overheated or sick. 

Stay Hydrated 

As the weather only continues to get hotter, making sure our furry friends stay hydrated throughout the day is extremely important. Whether going for a walk or sunbathing in the yard, access to clean, fresh water is crucial to the health and well-being of our pets. Extremely convenient when on-the-go, water bottles and collapsible bowls are great tools to provide your pet with a quick drink of water any time they need one! 

Keep it Cool 

Whether enjoying a day outside or in a house that gets quite hot, a cooling mat can help provide your pet with some relief from the heat. Your pet will enjoy lounging on the comfortable surface while simultaneously bringing their body temperature down. Similar to a cooling mat, a lightweight material cooling vest or bandana that uses evaporative cooling can help keep your four-legged family member cool on those hot summer days! 

Walk Wisely

When it comes to taking your beloved companion for a walk, you can beat the heat if you’re strategic about the time of day that you go. While it may be tempting to take your pet for a walk on your lunch break, the midday sun will likely be too much for them on a hot day. Try walking them in the morning and in the evening when it is a bit cooler. If it’s not possible to avoid surfaces that get quite hot in the sun such as pavement, booties can be helpful in protecting your pet’s paws while on a walk. 

Avoid Hot Cars 

When it’s nice outside, it can be tempting to have our pets tag along and enjoy the sunshine with us wherever possible. However, it’s important to always think and plan ahead to ensure our furry friends aren’t left in a hot car at any time as the effects can be life-threatening. While it may not seem like a long time to us, leaving your pet alone in a hot car for even a few minutes can have severe, or even fatal, consequences. 

If you’ve sat in your car in the summer with the engine turned off, you’ve probably noticed how quickly it heats up. Now, imagine how it feels for your pet who is covered in fur and doesn’t have the ability to sweat and release heat like we do. It only takes a few minutes for the inside of a car to reach dangerous temperatures, putting your pet in a life-threatening situation. 

While some of us may think that leaving the windows cracked can help keep the car cool enough, this does not make enough of a difference to help our pets cool down. It may also cross our minds that our pets can be left in the car if the air conditioning is running. However, it’s not a good idea to do so as the air conditioning could malfunction and turn off, leaving your pet in a very dangerous situation.

Heatstroke warnings 

As pet parents, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of heatstroke in pets so medical attention can be sought out immediately if needed: 

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dehydration, decreased urine production
  • Heavy drooling
  • Red gums/tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tremors
  • Warm to the touch 

Helping an animal in distress 

If you come across an animal in distress, call your local SPCA, humane society, police department or RCMP detachment for help.

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