Vet Blog

Summer Safe Tips Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

June 28, 2019

Owning a pet comes with a lot of responsibilities.

If you aren't an experienced pet owner, you may not realize hot weather brings unique summer pet care challenges.

Here are the summer safety tips that every pet owner needs to know.

Your Pet May Need Sunscreen

While we slather ourselves and our kids in sunscreen to prevent being burnt by the strong UV rays of the summer season, many of us don't realize that our pet is at risk of sunburn too. This is particularly the case if she has a fine coat and pink skin. Try and limit the amount of time she spends in the direct sun, and make sure to choose a sunscreen that is designed just for animals. Human sunscreens contain toxins that could be harmful to your furry pal.

Provide Plenty of Shade and Water

It may sound obvious, but your pet will need a constant supply of cool, fresh water and shade if she is to stay cool in rising temperatures. This is especially true if she has a thick coat or if she is suffering from heart or respiratory problems. Other helpful tricks to keep your pet cool include placing a fan or air conditioning unit near to her bed, putting ice cubes in her water and purchasing a cooling mat for her to lay on.

Think About Water Safety

When the temperatures soar, it can be tempting for many pets to plunge in the nearest body of water to cool down. Whether this is a backyard pool, the sea or a local river or pond, it is important to think about the safety of your pet in the water. Even those animals that are usually fairly good swimmers can get into trouble in the water, particularly when they choose to go into the river or sea, so it may be worth investing in a life preserver or jacket for your pet if you intend on letting him go for a paddle.

Walkies May Need to Be Re-Arranged

You may have a lovely routine of taking your pet for a walk in the morning or the afternoon. However, in the height of summer, the ground can heat up to incredible temperatures making it far too hot for your pet to walk on. One of the best ways to judge is to place your own bare feet on the sidewalk. Is it hot? If it is too hot for you to walk on, it is too hot for your pet's delicate paws. Rearrange walks for cooler parts of the day instead.

Think About Food Safety

Our diet often changes when summer rolls around. While it is ok to share some type of produce with your pet, there are some common summer foods that are toxic or hazardous to animals. These include:

  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocado (guacamole)
  • Nuts
  • Undercooked meat
  • Meat with bones (such as chicken on the bone or ribs)
  • Candy
  • Ice cream (in large amounts)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Drinks containing alcohol or caffeine

Sneaky pets have a natural aptitude for swiping food off of unattended plates and platters, so make sure any risky foods are well out of the way and ask any guests to dispose of their plates in a secure bin as soon as they are finished.

Make Sure Your Pet's Preventative Care Is up to Date

Warmer weather means more insects, and this can put your pet at increased risk of some types of parasitic infections - particularly ticks and those that are spread by mosquitos. Make sure that your pet's preventative care is up to date to keep her safe from any illnesses that could pose a threat to her health.

If you would like more summer safety tips for your pet, our experienced veterinary team will be happy to assist you. Please contact Helena Veterinary Clinic in Helena, AL at (205) 621-2021 for more advice and support.