The most important part of the summer season is to make sure you properly protect your fur baby. With the longer days we usually spend more time outside with our loved ones. (Furry ones included too!) This means you not only have to worry about your hydration and sun protection but for your pooch as well.
Also due to being in the water more often and for longer periods of time, more skin and ear infections take place during the warmer summer months.
Because of these reasons it is very important to take the following precautions:
Use Sunscreen, Please!
- Shield delicate skin. Use products made specifically for pets, such as Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen, which is safe for dogs—ingredients such as zinc oxide can be toxic to pets.
- Keep coats long. While it may seem logical to cut your pet’s coat short, resist the urge.
- Soothe burns safely. If your pet does get burned, apply a thin layer of pure aloe vera twice daily to soothe the irritated area. (Check the brand with your vet first, for pet safety.)
Play It Cool
- Walk with caution. Don’t walk your dog during the day’s highest heat and humidity, which is usually between 1 and 4 PM.
- Never leave her in the car. Even if windows are cracked, the interior temp can rise by 19°F in as little as 7 minutes.
- Look out for heat exhaustion. If your dog shows signs of heat stress—heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, or wobbly legs—don’t place her in ice cold water, which can put her into shock. Instead, move her to a cool place, drape a damp towel over her body, rewetting the cloth frequently, and get her to the vet as soon as you possibly can.
- Keep it cool indoors. Turn on the AC in your home, especially if you’ll be out of the house for several hours.
- Use a lifejacket. Let her get used to wearing it in your yard first.
- Beware of currents and riptides.
- Be on the lookout in lakes. Algae can produce a toxin that may cause severe sickness or seizures quickly if your pet ingests the water, by either drinking from the lake or licking tainted fur.
Take Pool Precautions
- Act like a lifeguard.
- Create an exit strategy. Teach her how to get out of the pool by using the stairs with her 5 to 10 times in a row.
- Avoid swimmer’s ear. Use drops of a canine ear-drying solution to fight potential swimmer’s ear.
Keep Pets Bug-Free
- Send parasites packing. Hookworms and heartworms are more prevalent during the summer and can gain access to your pet through the pads of his feet. Ask your vet for a prescription for Heartgard Plus or Interceptor Flavor Tabs, which will help keep parasites at bay.
- Opt for pet-friendly insect repellents. One option: All-natural Heavenly Organic Ecoshield. Its botanical blend of plant and essential oils repels fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes.Plan A Safer Cookout
- Avoid using charcoal briquettes. Dogs seem to love to lap up or steal from the grill, and charcoal briquettes can easily get stuck in the stomach, causing vomiting and requiring surgery.
- Don’t share. Corn on the cob and peach pits are also a huge no-no because they can lodge in a dog’s intestines.Guard Your Garden
- Skip the azaleas. These common backyard shrubs can be toxic for dogs and cats if ingested, resulting in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rate.
- Limit the lilies. A daylily or Asiatic, Easter, or Stargazer lily and their pollen can cause acute kidney failure in cats.
Check Your Garage
- Lock up plant food.
- Keep away the fireworks.
As always, check with your vet before trying anything you haven’t before like new products and food just to be safe.
What standard precautions do you take during the long summer months to keep your fur baby safe?