Keep your pets happy, healthy, and safe during hot summer days with these tips!
Beware of Hot Temperatures
Limit your dog’s time outdoors when it’s extremely hot or humid. When your dog is outside, make sure he has access to shade, shelter, and plenty of fresh water. In the Phoenix area, it can just take minutes for a dog to overheat or develop heatstroke.
Dogs can get sunburned, so applying a dog sunscreen to your dog’s ears, nose and anywhere else they have bare skin or thin fur is a good idea. Not all sunscreens are safe for dogs – waterproof ones that are approved for babies are usually the best choice. We recommend asking your regular primary care veterinarian for ones they recommend.
Keep Your Pets Hydrated
Have fresh water available at all times. Invest in a portable or collapsible dog bowl that is easy to clean and stores flat for easy packing. If you’re out in nature, don’t allow your dog to drink lake or river water that may contain bacteria or parasites like Giardia.
Hiking with pets is a favorite activity for many during the summer months, but proceed with caution! A well-intentioned hike could be harmful if dogs overheat in the hot summer sun. Look for signs of overheating: a dog’s tongue hangs from the side of the mouth and is weighted at the end, a dog may pant excessively and have trouble focusing his gaze. A dog may become lethargic and unresponsive.
If a pet begins to overheat, place them in the shade immediately and pour cool, lukewarm (not cold) water onto the pads of their feet first and then continue over other parts of their body. Seek veterinary care immediately for your dog if you are concerned about possible heatstroke.
Learn more about heat stroke in pets >
Remember: placing booties on their paws will also help keep them safe on the rough terrain and prevent their paw pads from burning. It can just take minutes on hot pavement/gravel for a dog to burn their paw pads.
NEVER Leave Your Dog in the Car
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. An animal left in a hot car can sustain brain damage or even die in as little as 15 minutes. Cracking a window does little to relieve the heat on a hot summer day. If you can’t bring your dog inside with you during any of your stops, leave your dog at home where he’ll be safe indoors, or have access to shade and water.
Keep ID Tags Current
Dogs spend more time outdoors during summer months than any other time of the year, which can also lead to lost pets. Is your dog properly identified with a tagged collar and microchip? Check to make sure all of your pet’s ID information is properly secured and up-to-date.
Beware of Rattlesnakes
Approximately 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the US, and prevention, protection, and treatment are key. Rattlesnake venom can cause serious injury and even death to pets. Most cases are reported during the warmer seasons, although here in Arizona they are reported and treated year-round.
- When you encounter a rattlesnake, remain calm and do not panic.
- Look immediately around to find out where the snake is located, and give the snake plenty of space. If your pet is in hunting mode or moving towards the snake, restrain your pet without putting yourself in danger.
- With your pet, slowly back away out of striking distance (which is at least half the snake’s length).
- DO NOT attempt to handle the snake or kill the snake.
- If you’re hiking or in a public area, alert others about the snake’s location.
Learn more about rattlesnake safety for your pets >
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