With the temperatures rising and summer fast approaching, you’re probably daydreaming of ways to stay cool. As you picture yourself lounging by the pool and eating popsicles, don’t forget about your four-legged friends. Pets need extra care and attention during the hot summer months. Follow these tips to protect your pets this summer:
1. Use Sunscreen
Pets can benefit from sunscreen just as much as humans can, especially pets with short hair or white or pink fur. Pay special attention to your pet’s nose and ears, since these areas burn easily. Human sunscreen is toxic to pets—instead of applying your own, ask your veterinarian to recommend a good pet sunscreen.
2. Limit Sun Exposure
If you feel too warm, your pet likely feels even warmer, especially your dog. Dogs release their body heat through the pads of their feet and through panting instead of through their skin, and bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, puppies, and elderly pets in particular tend to overheat quickly. During the hottest hours of the day (typically 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), limit your pet’s exposure to the heat. Plan play time for early morning or evening hours, and ensure your pet always has plenty of fresh water.
3. Avoid Toxins
After you spray weed killer or pesticides on your yard or garden, keep your pet indoors and off the grass for at least a few hours—or, better yet, switch over to safe, organic fertilizers. Some chemicals that keep your grass fresh harm your pet. Similarly, pay attention to any chemicals that pool in your driveway. For instance, if your car frequently overheats, your coolant (which is extremely poisonous to pets) might be leaking onto your driveway where your cat or dog can lap it up.
4. Watch for Pests
Mosquitoes, ticks, and other dangerous pests are out in full force during the summer months. Some ticks and mosquitoes transmit parasites and diseases that harm your pet and even transfer to human members of your family. Talk to your veterinarian about how to keep pests from harming your pet—safe, effective medications or vaccine prevent many common insect-transmitted diseases.
Follow these tips to ensure your furry friend stays safe this summer. Do you have other helpful tips for pet owners? Share your favorites below.