Dog Days of Summer - Sun Safety Tips for Pets

05/11/2011

Sun Safety Tips for Pets

The weather is heating up outside folks, which can only mean that summer is creeping up on many of us. It’s time for us and our pets to switch modes. For you that might mean changing out the wardrobe and starting to use the air conditioning instead of the heating unit, but keep in mind that you also have to change a few things around for your furry friends as well. Extreme heat can be just as hazardous to pets as extreme cold and it’s important to follow the simple sun safety tips for pets below to ensure that your cat or dog has a safe and fun summer this year.

Keep your pets hydrated – Pets need more water in the summer to keep their body temperatures regulated. Make sure that their bowls are regularly filled with fresh clean water to keep them cool and properly hydrated during summer play outdoors. If your pets can’t get the refreshment they need from their usual “watering hole” then they might go looking elsewhere and that can mean a potentially dangerous situation. Higher temperatures can accelerate the growth of bacteria in standing water and thirsty pets can also drink hazardous liquids if they are parched.

Be aware of the signs of heatstroke – Sometimes pets get caught up in playing and exploring outdoors in the heat. This blind dedication to summer fun can lead to overheating and eventually heatstroke if owners are not careful. Be on the lookout for sudden changes in behavior and physical traits including lack of obedience, an overly warm body, labored breathing, a distant or worried look, vomiting, and a faster heartbeat. If you notice any of these signs and think your pet might be overheated then you must attempt to lower their core temperature. You can try to aid them by applying towels soaked with cool water or finding a cool spot where they can remain inactive for a little while. If they are still acting as if they are uncomfortable after a little while in a cooler environment then it is best to take the dog to their vet.   

Don't leave out uneaten pet food – Your pet’s water bowl is not the only place where accelerated bacteria growth can occur in the hot summer months. If your dog or cat eats their food outside then it is best to not leave uneaten pet food sitting around like leftovers. If your pets are light eaters then it is perfectly fine to bring any remaining food inside where it will not spoil as quickly or be exposed to other animals and the elements.

Remember that fleas and ticks are more active – These little parasites are a problem all year round, but with more outdoor activity taking place in the summer time they become especially troublesome. Have a flea and tick control solution of your choice ready and in place. There are many options available for both cats and dogs. It is also important to routinely check your pet for any ticks that have latched on and remove them using the proper techniques.

Do not leave pets in a vehicle – Hopefully by now, all pet owners are aware of how dangerous this can be. The inside of a car can get as hot as an oven and it only takes a few minutes. Never leave a pet in a parked car, no matter how quick you think you are going to be back. If you are going to run errands at places that do not allow animals then it is probably the best idea just to leave them at home.

Sun block is not just for humans – Long summer days spent playing on the beach or just out in the yard can lead to reddened and irritated skin for your pets. Your dog or cat can get sunburned if they are exposed for hours at a time. This tends to occur more frequently in pets with light hair color or in spots that are not covered in fur. It is important to use sun screen, there are pet brands available, in order to keep your pet from getting an uncomfortable burn and prevent them from getting skin cancer down the road.

Regulate outdoor exposure – On extremely hot days it is sometimes better to just keep your pet inside until it cools off some. Even outside in the shade it can still be very easy for your pet to overheat or dehydrate. Make sure they have a few “inside breaks” to limit their exposure to heat and sun. If your pet just can’t stay inside then make sure you check on them regularly and watch out for signs that they have had a little too much summer fun. Leaving a pet alone outside all day when the temperatures are soaring is never a good idea.

Sun Safety Tips for PetsPet safety during the summer months is essential as there are a whole new set of problems to deal with. It is important to transition your pets into this change in weather and climate just as you do the other members of your family. Following these sun safety tips for pets and s little bit of precaution and preparing can go a long way in keeping your pet pals safe and happy while they are out having their summer fun.

Russ Barker generally hates the winter months and is more than ready for summer time every year. He also knows how important it is to keep pets safe in the heat that summer brings which is why he wanted to give everyone some sun safety tips for pets. Russ is the resident blog master for DogTagArt.com, a website formed to inform the pet owners about the necessity of properly equipping all pets with up-to-date pet ID tags. To promote this, and make it a little more exciting for owners, they are providing hundreds of one-of-a-kind custom dog tags using green technology to offer a durable high-quality tag that looks awesome on any pet.
Russ Barker



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