Dog Days of Summer: Keeping your pets safe

July and August are often the warmest part of summer. This might mean that you get to enjoy some fun outdoor time with your pet, but it also means that you need to consider how to keep it safe and healthy during this time of year. Heatstroke is a serious concern for pets in the summer.

Consider these ideas to keep the animal members of your family enjoying summers to come.

Your pet needs:

  • Access to cool areas. Make sure your pets can get to cool areas out of the sunlight in your home, especially if they are left alone while you are at work. Consider leaving a fan on and pulling the shades so that heat does not become overwhelming.
  • Cool treats. Add some ice cubes to your pet’s water dish or try some special animal-friendly popsicles like these pupsicles or catsicles. Your animals will enjoy playing with these yummy concoctions to keep them from overheating.
  • Hydration is especially important for your pets in the summer. If you’re traveling, playing, or spending time outside with your pets, make sure you have a ready supply of water for them.
  • Morning/Evening exercise. You want to keep your pet active and healthy, but make sure you avoid the hottest parts of the day. Morning and evenings are often cool enough for some playing or a good walk with your pet. You will likely benefit from the cooler temperatures as well.
  • Frequent grooming. Brushing your pet’s coat keeps its skin healthy and body cool. A haircut can also be helpful, though it’s important to leave some hair to protect the skin from the sun.

Also remember to never leave you pet in a hot car. Within 30 minutes the temperature in your car can increase by almost 40°F, even if the temperature seems cool to you. Parking in the shade or leaving the car idling with the air conditioning turned on are not solutions either. If it’s hot, leave your pet at home or with a trusted friend or family member.

Learn more about summer pet safety on PetFinder.com

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