At Eagle Animal Hospital & Pet Resort, we believe your pet’s safety, health, and well-being are of the utmost importance. As much as we all enjoy the hot weather, the longer days, and all the fun adventures that come along with summer, it can be quite a risky time for pets. But by familiarizing yourself with the risks that could cause harm to your pet, you can find ways to prevent and avoid these things from occurring. Here are some summer safety tips you will want to consider to ensure your pet’s comfort, health, and happiness — and your peace of mind, as a pet parent.

Summer Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats

Provide Your Pets With Plenty of Water

Dehydration is a very real possibility for both dogs and cats during the hot, humid summer months here in Kansas City. That’s why it’s important to ensure your pets always have access to fresh, clean water, whether they’re indoors or outdoors. Replenish their water bowls more frequently during the summer, and always carry water with you to keep them hydrated when taking walks, playing at the park, going on hikes, or even riding around town. Snag a water bottle just for them and a collapsible water bowl so they can drink up easily when on the go. Additionally, knowing the signs of dehydration is essential. Signs of dehydration include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Dry gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Wobbly legs
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Reduced skin elasticity

Give them Plenty of Shade

Pets can overheat while spending time outdoors under the hot sun. What’s more, many pets love sunbathing, which can unintentionally cause heat exhaustion if they get too hot. To prevent overheating, always provide your pets with a shady spot where they can escape from the heat and cool down. A good rule of thumb is to help them into the shade after about 30-minutes spent in the sun to get their internal body temperatures down. Additionally, when on-the-go, take an umbrella with you, just in case you need some shade when there aren’t any trees or structures around to provide shelter from the sun. Be aware of heatstroke in pets by familiarizing yourself with these signs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Dark red or sticky gums
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures

Exercise When It’s Cooler Out

Taking walks in the middle of the day can be stressful for your dog. Instead, walk them during the cooler hours of the day when the sun isn’t shining at its highest and brightest point. Walk them or take them to play at the park in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. This will make for a more comfortable walk for both you and your precious pup.

Protect Their Paws from Hot Surfaces

The sun can really heat up surfaces made from wood, concrete, metal, and loose gravel. As strong as dog’s paws are, hot surfaces can burn their paw pads and the skin in-between their toes, which can cause painful blisters. If walking on these surfaces is unavoidable, you might want to consider getting your furry buddy dog booties that offer an added level of protection and traction when walking on hot and cold surfaces. 

Never Leave Pets in Cars

Unfortunately, each and every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion after being left in hot cars. Even if you leave the windows cracked a few inches, the temperatures can rapidly rise in a matter of minutes. It’s just not worth the risk. Don’t put your pet in unnecessary distress and risk their lives. Rather, leave your canine companion at home when running errands where they can stay cool and comfortable. Use this handy tool provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) so you can see just how quickly — and how hot — the temperatures inside your vehicle can rise.  

Contact Our Riverside Animal Hospital

If you are concerned about your pet’s health, or if you would like to inquire about dog boarding or doggie daycare, please reach out to our Client Care team to schedule an appointment. Our team of compassionate and caring veterinarians and support staff is here to provide you and your furry best friend with the best possible care at our Fear-Free Certified Riverside animal hospital. You can also reach out via our Telemedicine portal to schedule a virtual visit with your preferred veterinarian or a veterinary nurse.