Summer is officially here! And that means it’s time to enjoy the sun, beach and outdoors with your friends, family and pets! However, due to higher temperatures, busy schedules and holiday festivities, it can be really easy for pets to get sick, scared and/or overheated during the summer months.
To help you prepare for the summer with your pet, we’ve rounded up some top safety tips to help keep your animals safe.
1. Watch your step (and your pup’s too)!
Being outside in the Florida sunshine is what summer is all about, especially when you can share that time with your pet. However, the hot streets, driveways and sidewalks can damage your dog’s paws if you’re not careful.
Avoid taking a long walk in the middle of the day. Instead, do two short walks, one in the morning and one in the evening. This means you’re hitting the pavement before it heats up and after it’s had a chance to cool down. If you can’t do morning or evening walks, check to see if the ground is too hot for your pup’s paws.
To do this, put the back of your hand to the ground and hold it there for five seconds. If you can’t hold your hand down for the full five seconds because it’s too hot for you, then it’s definitely too hot for your dog.
2. Never, ever leave pets in hot cars
Running errands around town can be fun to do with your pet. However, not all places are pet-friendly, meaning your cat or dog may sometimes have to stay in the car while you’re inside.
Cars are one of the worst places for pets during the summer because the temperature inside the vehicle dramatically increases after just 10 minutes. This can cause heat exhaustion, dehydration and severe illness if left alone for too long. Be sure to leave the a/c running if you’re leaving a pet in the car!
3. Keep your pets well hydrated
Whether you’re outside in the summer sun or even just hanging out inside, it’s really easy for your pet to become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include dry gums, thick saliva, panting and dry nose. If not caught in time, it can lead to more serious illnesses like kidney failure.
Make sure to keep plenty of fresh water available in the house and bring water bottles with you when you go on walks. Try to walk in shady areas and take breaks in the shade to give your dog time to cool down. Those breaks are also a great time to rehydrate.
4. Maintain vet appointments
Summer schedules can get busy. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your vet appointments and regular pet health routine.
Keep up with regular flea and tick treatments, medicines and regular appointments. If your pet is not already, consider spaying and neutering your animal as well. This will ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy throughout the summer.
5. Keep pets away from fireworks
The Fourth of July is one of the biggest summer holidays, with firework displays a staple in most celebrations. Fireworks though can be dangerous for pets if you’re putting on your own show at home or bringing them to a community show.
Here are a few ways to keep your pets safe from fireworks:
- Don’t bring them to community firework shows. The loud booming can scare pets and cause them to run away.
- If using fireworks at home, make sure pets are inside and in a quiet area.
- Remember to clean up fireworks remains from your yard. Chemicals from the fireworks can be dangerous to pets if they find them in your backyard the next day.
Florida Animal Friend provides grants to organizations that conduct low-cost spay and neuter programs. For more information on Florida Animal Friend, or to contribute to our goal of ending animal overpopulation throughout the state, please purchase a plate or donate today.