Summer fun with your pets

With summer vacation underway, many people are busy with more outside activities.  With the temperature rising, it’s important to make sure we don’t forget about our pets as well.  Here are some great tips to make sure that your summer is just as fun for your pets as it is for you!

Ever spend a lot of time in the sun and suddenly become extremely thirsty?  Pets get dehydrated easily, so make sure to limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight and provide them with plenty of water.  Give them the option to retreat into a shaded area if they want to, like a dog house.  They aren’t able to run inside and grab a bottled water or set up an umbrella, so we need to make sure they have water and shade available to them.  To avoid the extreme temperatures during the day, try walking your dog in the early mornings and the later evenings, when the sun is not as strong.  For an easy and fun treat, try freezing their favorite treats and toys in ice, to keep them busy and cool them off.  Broth can be mixed with water and frozen into cubes for another type of cold snack.

Know the warning signs of over-heating!  Certain flatter-faced pets, like Bulldogs and Persians, are more prone to heat stroke, since they aren’t able to pant effectively.  Check for excessive panting, drooling, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.  The tongue and the mucous membranes will appear bright red.  As shock sets in, they will turn grey.  Collapsing, seizures, coma, and possibly death quickly follow this stage, so it is dire that you monitor how your pet is doing.  If you notice these signs, get your pet out of the heat and get them cool water as soon as possible.  Check here for what to do if your dog is over-heating.

Do not leave your pet in your car for any reason!  It may not seem very hot outside, but the inside of the car heats up very quickly, even with the windows down.  It’s comparable to leaving your dog in an oven while you shop for groceries.  We love the company of our pets, but please, it’s better to leave them at home!  Check out MyDogisCool.com for more info.

Have a swimming pool?  Personally, my dog rather just wade around in shallow water than actually swim, but some dogs live for swimming.  Dogs should never be left unattended around a swimming pool, even if they aren’t likely to swim.  They could slip and fall in and accidents could and have happened.  Some owners swear their dogs don’t like to swim, but when they leave for vacation, their dogs sneak in dips in the pool!  If you’re not around to watch them, be sure to have the pool covered up.  If you don’t own a large swimming pool and your dog still likes to get wet, a child’s wading pool is fantastic for helping them cool off.  They won’t be able to swim, but many dogs enjoy soaking and splashing around.

Fireworks are a part of summer tradition that many people love to share with their family.  However, the loud sounds and flashing lights are terrifying for pets, so please leave them at home.  Their ears are much more sensitive than ours, so the noise can be traumatizing.  Be aware that using fireworks around them can also be harmful, as many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

Plan on taking your dog to a party or having a party at your home?  It’s not unheard of for guests to be unaware of the common courtesy to ask before feeding.  Even if you watch your pets and guests like a hawk all night, chances are something will get dropped on the floor.  Know what foods are toxic to pets and be sure to talk to other guests about asking you for permission before giving them some snacks.  Here is a list from the ASPCA for people food to avoid giving pets. 

Remember that our pets love to be with us, but make the right decisions as to whether it is wise or not for them to join us.  If you decide to include them in your summer fun, take the extra steps needed to make them comfortable.  If you’re unable to bring your pets with you, call sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC for your pet-sitting needs, so you can enjoy your summer while your pets are comfortable and happy!

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