Warm weather is a great time to get your pet active outside. And while the park, lake or trail may be calling your name, you should also take safety measures to ensure everyone has a great time – your furry friend included.
“Summertime is the perfect time to head outside and have fun with your pets,” says Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “But when it comes to things like hot temperatures and water activities, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind to keep pets protected.”
Consider the following tips from PetSmart.
Understand overheating behavior. “Dog owners should call their veterinarian immediately if during or after outdoor activities they notice excessive panting, sluggish or unresponsive behavior, vomiting or bloody diarrhea, or bright red or pale, dry gums as these are all signs of overheating and possible heatstroke,” says Freeman.
Stay indoors when temperatures soar. Staying indoors during particularly hot days is often the best option. If your dog must be outdoors, ensure they have plenty of shade, ample fresh water and a kiddie pool filled with fresh water for cooling dips.
Protect those paws from pavement. High temperatures means hot pavement. To protect sensitive paws from burning pavement, take dogs for walks on grassy areas and during the early morning or late night hours.
Watch the water. Summertime pet fun also means trips to the beach, pool, lake or favorite swimming spot. Pet parents should pay careful attention to ensure pets are safe during water playtime, especially around yards and pools that aren’t gated.
“Dogs may seem like natural born swimmers, but the truth is they need training just like people,” Freeman says. “I also always recommend having a gated pool when there are new puppies or geriatric or blind dogs in the home as they can fall in the pool and not be able to get out.”
Never leave home without ID. A leash is always a good idea out of the water, along with a collar and proper identification. “It’s important to make sure your pet is microchipped and that it is registered with up-to-date contact information,” says Freeman. “Dogs are especially prone to escaping during the summer months due to fireworks and storm anxiety.”
Published with permission from RISMedia.