The hot months of the year can be miserable for us as humans
when we aren’t prepared for the heat, and our furry friends are no exception. Our
pets can be affected by the weather as well, and it’s our job to protect them
from the elements. Here are a few ways to keep your animals safe when the mercury
1. Visit the vet
It’s important to have your pet checked out this time of year because the heat brings out the mosquitos, fleas, ticks and other pests. Ask your pets’ doctor for preventative medications to keep the bugs away. There are also vaccines available for diseases like distemper, that can be passed to your pet from other outside creatures like skunks, opossums, and squirrels.
2. Keep them hydrated
Just like you, your pet needs water to stay healthy. This is especially true during the hot, summer months when they lose water more quickly. Leave out an extra bowl of water for your pets or create icy treats by freezing a bowl of chicken stock with treats and toys inside, or you could even try this recipe for doggie popsicles. It will help your pet stay hydrated and entertained.
3. Never leave a pet in the car
Even with the windows cracked, a vehicle can become an oven when it is sitting idle in direct sunlight. This could spell disaster for your pet within minutes. If you can’t take your dog inside or to a cool place, then leave them at home.
4. Be careful around pools
Many people know the dangers of leaving young children unattended around swimming pools in the summer, but some don’t realize that it could be just as dangerous to leave your pet to their own devices near a body of water. Some dogs aren’t natural swimmers, and could become disoriented or scared if they fall in. Introduce your pet to the water gradually, where you can rescue them quickly if they panic.
5. Think twice about shaving
If you have a dog with a long coat, it can be tempting (and seemingly logical) to shave them for the summer. After all, you wouldn’t want to wear a heavy coat in the heat. But, for dogs, these long coats help to keep these breeds safe from sunburn and overheating. So, ask your vet about the appropriate length for your dog’s coat before getting out the clippers.
6. Check asphalt and sidewalks
Your furry pal might love walks this time of year, but if you’re walking on asphalt and sidewalks, you could be setting them up for pain. Check the areas around your home before venturing out with your pet. If it is too hot for your bare feet, then it will probably be too warm for your dog.
7. Skip the barbecue
It is difficult to say no to a dog who is staring at you, waiting patiently for a bite of your brisket or a taste of your coconut cream pie. But feeding animals from the table can be potentially dangerous. Some foods are naturally poisonous to pets or can cause severe digestive issues. Stick to dog food and appropriate treats for your pet.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.