Animal Experts Share 14 Must-Know Tips For a Safe, Pet-Friendly Summer

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As the summer heatwaves roll in, pet owners should be on high alert to ensure their furry friends stay cool and comfortable. Animal experts emphasize that hot weather can pose significant health risks to pets, including dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn. By following these 14 essential tips, you can enjoy a safe and fun summer with your pets.

1. Hydration is Paramount: Always ensure your pet has access to fresh, clean water. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so take extra water when going for walks or trips.

2. Never Leave Pets in a Hot Car: Even with windows cracked open, cars can heat up to lethal temperatures within minutes. Always leave pets at home or take them with you when you exit the car.

3. Mind the Paws: Asphalt and sand can get incredibly hot, posing a risk to your pet’s paws. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws.

4. Limit Exercise: On extremely hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, when it’s cooler. Consider swimming as an alternative to walking.

5. Keep them Inside During Peak Heat: Offer a cool, air-conditioned or fan-ventilated space during the hottest part of the day.

6. Watch for Heatstroke Signs: Excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, mild weakness, or even collapse can signal heatstroke.

7. Apply Pet-Safe Sunscreen: Particularly for pets with short coats or pale skin that are susceptible to sunburn – consult your vet for recommendations.

8. Secure Your Pool Area: Ensure pets have a safe entry and exit point if they swim and never leave them unsupervised near water.

9. Beware of Toxic Plants and Insecticides: Many summer blooms are toxic if ingested by pets. Similarly, insecticides used in gardens can be harmful.

10. Keep Windows Screened: Prevent falls from windows by installing snug and sturdy screens in all of your open windows.

11. Prepare for Emergencies: Know the signs of overheating and have your vet’s after-hours contact information easily accessible.

12. Buzz off Bugs: Protect your pets from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes with appropriate preventatives as they carry serious diseases.

13. Avoid Sharing Human Snacks: Some human treats like chocolate or grapes are dangerous for animals – stick to pet-safe treats.

14. Consider a Trim, but not too much: A shorter coat can help prevent overheating but keep enough fur to protect their skin from sunburn.

With these tips from animal care professionals at hand, your summer activities with pets will be as enjoyable as they are safe!

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