I have three dogs who are as spoiled as they come. They have an air-conditioned house that they run, food on schedule, and enough love to go around. They also love their walks and running around on their acre of land. Even with their pampered lives, I have to be keenly aware of the heat in the summer and my dog’s safety during it. Whether let your pets roam free outdoors or keep them cozy inside, these pet summer safety tips can make taking care of them easier!
Keep your furkids happy, healthy, and pampered — and go easy on your wallet with PetSmart promo codes!
1. Water, water, and more water
It’s essential, especially during the summer, that pets have water — and lots of it. Even my indoor dogs go through an entire two-gallon bowl of water in one day. When I have them outside on a hot day or take them on walks, I make sure the bowl is full and refilled during the day.
Make sure your water bowl, especially an outdoor one, is clean and that leaves, bugs, and dirt aren’t floating around in it. If you have a pet that spent the day in the pool, lake, or river, you still need fresh drinking water for them. Travel bowls are easy to find and can be used almost anywhere!
2. Make sure they have shelter
A lot of people who work leave their pets outside during the day. Just make sure they have shade that’s more than just a tree. Both cats and dogs need a place where they can get out of the hot sun and actually feel the temperature drop several degrees. My pets have a covered patio and love to curl up in their beds out there and watch the squirrels run around.
In the heat of the day, it’s important they have a way to escape the sun rays as well as any summer showers that pop up.
3. Never leave a pet in a hot car
Just as it’s imperative that you don’t leave a child in a hot car, it’s just as important not to leave a pet. Just 10 minutes on an 85-degree day can cause major organ damage and even death.
When planning a road trip with your dog, make sure your stops are mapped out and include an opportunity for your dog to get out of the car. I often stop at public rest stops and let my dogs do what they need to, then take them into the bathrooms with me. I never want to leave them in the car for any amount of time!
4. Don’t exercise your dog in the heat of the day
Every morning have to decide if it’s cool enough to take my dogs on a walk. Since they come with a built-in fur coat, I have to really be aware of the humidity as well as the temperature of the asphalt. If I walk outside and feel heavy from the humidity, I don’t take them.
Since dogs pant to cool down, a humid day might restrict their ability to breath in, therefore limiting their ability to cool themselves down from the inside out. In addition, if I put the back of my hand down on the ground, I should be able to hold it there comfortably for 5 seconds. If I can’t, the surface is too hot for my dog’s paw pads.
I only do early morning and evening walks with my pets during the summer, but even at those times I need to be hyper aware for their safety.
5. Use doggy frozen treats to cool them down
There are going to be times that your dogs do get too hot. It’s important that you cool them down from the inside out. Frozen dog treats you can make at home or purchase in a store are wonderful for this task. Pets love them and they serve a real safety purpose!