Hot weather safety tips
for your pet
Summer Safety for Pets
The long, hot days of Summer are upon us! A time for outdoor activity fun for humans AND pets! Of course we are familiar with human warm weather safeguards….sunscreen, plenty of water and taking timeouts to cool down. But what about your animal companions? Oftentimes, our furry friends are having so much fun in the sun that they become overheated. What are the signs? And how can you safeguard your pet during the ‘dog days’ of summer? Here are a few tips!
1. Provide plenty of water and ensure that the water bowl in in a continuously shaded area. Make sure that there is adequate shade throughout the entire shade for your pet to rest in. Keep your pets indoors if it is extremely hot.
Signs of overheating/dehydration include dry gums, excess drooling, red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, wobbly legs, seizures, difficulty breathing/heavy panting. Brachiocephalic or short-nosed breeds such as pugs or bulldogs, the elderly, overweight or those with heart/lung disease are especially susceptible to overheating. If overheating is suspected, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
2. We love to have our pets with us however in hot weather, please leave your pet home! As of 2018, 28 states have ‘hot car’ laws that make it a criminal offense to leave unattended pets in cars during hot weather. On a 70° sunny day, a car can reach 104° in a half hour. At 80°, the car interior will reach 99° in only 10 minutes much too hot for a pet to survive for long.
3. Walk your pet in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler outside. Be aware of cement or paved surfaces, if you are unable to hold your hand on the hot surface for 10 seconds, it is too hot for your pet to walk on. Remain alert for signs of discomfort or burned paws.
4. Summer and water just seem to naturally go together. If your dog has access to a pool or other body of water, consider outfitting Fido with a life vest, they really are lifesavers. If you have a pool, teach your pet how to safely exit the water and be sure to rinse pool chemicals off your dog after swimming.
5. More pets are reported lost on July 4th than on any other day of the year. During fireworks season, it is best to keep your pets safely indoors. If that’s not possible, a basement or garage are great alternatives. Softly playing music is wonderful for masking the booming sounds. Consider microchipping your pet or securely attaching an I.D. tag to it’s collar. Also be sure to pick up any fireworks (used or unused) from your yard.
6. Summer is also the season for increased usage of pesticides, herbicides and rodenticides…..all these are toxic to your pet. If you suspect your pet has ingested poison, call your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, pend 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 888-426-4435 (fees may apply).
With these simple tips, you will ensure your pet has a safe and happy summer.
And what would Summer be without a sweet treat! Here’s one that both kids and dogs will enjoy…..and the best part is….the kids will be able to help make them! This simple recipe is by Kiki Kane from Rover.com.
Frozen Banana Bites
1 ½ Cup watermelon*
1 Cup pineapple
*can substitute these fruits for any other dog-safe unsweetened fruit, veggie puree or yogurt.
You will need a silicon mini-muffin pan or ice cube tray. A cookie sheet or cutting board to move silicon mold. A blender or food processor. Flat space in freezer to place mold.
* Clear space in freezer for mold
*Puree the watermelon and set aside
*Puree the pineapple and set aside
* Slice banana into 24 pieces
* Place silicon mold on cookie sheet
*Place 1 banana slice in each well
*Top each banana slice with 2 Tablespoons of watermelon puree
*Top off mold with a layer of pineapple puree
*Place mold in freezer for 4 hours or until frozen solid
*Pop out of molds and store in plastic bag.
These are such fun to make and the kids love sharing a treat with their pup. These little fruit pops also make festive ice cubes for summertime drinks.
Have a safe, fun Summer and stay cool during the ‘dog days’!
“See” you next month!
Jeanna Billings is an Animal Communicator serving an international clientele, a Reiki Master and a Certified Crystal Healer. She volunteered for many years with humane societies and animal rescues, serving as a Board Director, Adoption Counselor and Humane Educator. She currently teaches animal communication classes and provides private consultations. She lives in Indiana with her husband, three dachshunds, two cats and a very chatty parakeet. You can find her online at www.ShamansSpirit.net .