Today I thought it would be a great idea to write a post about Summer Pet Safety Tips. There's going to be some crazy hot summer weather here in New Jersey, and it's always best to look after your dogs and cats closely this time of year.
Below are some tips that I got from one of our membership organizations - Pet Sitters International. As always, if you have any questions about pet care and how we look after your pets, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!
1. Never leave your pets in your vehicle (ESPECIALLY WITH THE WINDOWS CLOSED!)
Hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion each year because they are left in parked vehicles. Many pet owners don't realize that even if they leave the windows cracked (or the air conditioner running), temperatures can still rise quickly and put pets at risk of serious illness or death.
2. Do not walk dogs or allow them to exercise or play hard in very hot weather.
Exercising your dogs in the early morning or evening is recommended, as the weather is at its coolest. Remember that hot pavement can injure your pet’s paws. Try this quick tip: Place the back of your hand on the pavement and if you can’t hold it for five to seven seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog.
SIDE NOTE: at Simply Yours Concierge, if the weather is over 90 degrees, we walk your dogs just long enough to go to the bathroom, then spend a little time under the cover of shady trees. It's just too hot for them (and us). So we'd spend the majority of the visit inside for playtime!
3. Know the signs of heat exhaustion.
Signs of heat stress could include trouble breathing, excessive panting, increased heart rate, weakness or collapsing. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately.
4. Keep your pets cool indoors as well.
While it’s important to not have pets outside in the heat of the day, hot seasons mean indoor temperatures can be more difficult to regulate as well. While it may be tempting to turn off the AC in your home to save on energy costs while you are at work or away on vacation, understand that high temperatures inside can also be dangerous to pets. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too warm for you, it’s also too warm for your pets.
5. During the summer, more time is spent outside—often without the use of a leash.
Unfortunately, this can lead to an increase in pets being hit by automobiles. Keep your dogs on a leash or confined by a fence— even well-behaved dogs should be kept on leash. Many cats also get hit by vehicles. Be sure to keep cats indoors, on a cat harness and leash, or in a specially-designed cat fence.
6. Be mindful of water safety for your pets.
Never leave your dog unsupervised near an uncovered pool, and have your dog wear a bright lifejacket when boating, at the lake, or on the beach. If you do have a pool, ensure the dog knows how to get out of the pool using the stairs by practicing with him or her several times.
7. Don’t let cookouts and summer parties turn into bad experiences for your pets.
Charcoal briquettes used for grills can get stuck in your dog’s stomach, requiring surgery. Also, don’t allow your guests to share scraps with your dog. Fatty leftovers can result in severe abdominal pain or even death. Other foods, such as corn on the cob, also present a danger because they can become lodged in the dog’s intestines.
BONUS TIP: Remember, while fireworks are common during summer celebrations, they can be very scary for your pets. During a fireworks display, keep your pets inside in a safe space, close all doors and windows and turn on the television or play calming music. Also make sure your pet is wearing a tag with your contact information, as well as the pet sitter’s contact information, should they become scared and bolt or escape.