Despite the fact that it’s still spring, the Sonoran desert can expect to see record-breaking temperatures this time of year, which makes now a great time to discuss warm weather pet safety. While we may enjoy the sunny days and poolside relaxation, there’s no doubt the high temperatures can take their toll on the comfort and wellbeing of our furry pals.
To help you plan for the warm days ahead, the team at Animal Medical & Surgical Center want to point out a few precautions you can take to keep your pet cool and hydrated.
5 Essential Warm Weather Pet Safety Tips
1. Don’t forget the water! Even if it isn’t quite the inferno we’re used to during the midst of summer, warm weather temps increase your pet’s need for water (your pet is more susceptible to dehydration than you might think). Know the signs of dehydration, including dry nose, pale, tacky gums, panting, and lethargy.
Provide water for your pet when out and about, and take extra water with you on any car trips. By bringing your own water, you can also discourage your dog from drinking out of puddles and ditches, where illnesses like leptospirosis and giardia can be found.
2. Protect your pet from the sun. UV rays can cause harm to your pet’s sensitive skin. Avoid midday activities, opting for early morning walks instead. Also consider using pet formulated sunscreen (never human grade).
3. Keep your pet groomed (but avoid short trims or shaves). While it may seem like a good idea to shave your pet or go very short for summer, the fur actually helps keep your pet cooler and avoid sunburn. Grooming is an essential part of your pet’s ongoing wellness care, but stick to cuts that leave an inch or more of fur.
4. Consider poolside safety. Unfortunately, pet drownings in backyard pools are not uncommon. Each year, an estimated 5,000 pets die in drowning incidents. Many pools are not pet friendly in that pets cannot naturally hoist themselves out if they happen to fall in. To help prevent pool hazards, install fencing around your pool that allows your pet to be outside but does not allow them to get close to the water. Some dogs do love to swim, so you can also elect to install a pet pool ramp, making exiting the pool possible. In either situation, supervise your pet at all times.
5. Pay attention to paws. Paw care is a must for every pet, and the heat can take a toll on those precious paw pads. Always check surface temperatures before heading out for a walk. This is also true for packed earth and wooden decks, which can definitely absorb the heat. Keep your pet’s paws in great condition by using a pet approved paw pad balm or moisturizer. Also consider investing in some dog booties, which are great for hot weather and can help keep your pet’s feet safe on rough, rocky mountain trails.
Lastly, it goes without saying that it’s NEVER okay to leave your pet in the car. It only takes a matter of minutes for temperatures inside a car to skyrocket, even if the windows are cracked. If you cannot take your pet inside when running errands or shopping, he or she is much safer staying at home. For more warm weather pet safety tips, please contact our team. Stay cool out there!