As the summer sun blazes overhead, it’s essential for pet owners to remember that their furry companions need extra care and attention during the scorching months. Australia’s hot summers and thick humidity can be particularly challenging for pets. Still, with some simple precautions, you can ensure your four-legged friends stay cool, comfortable, and happy all summer long.
So, let’s get into:
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS FOR PET OWNERS
Hydration is Key
Just as humans crave a cool drink on a scorching day, our four-legged friends must stay well-hydrated, especially in humid areas. Ensuring your pets have access to a continuous supply of fresh, cool water is not just a summer necessity; it’s a vital element of their well-being. If your daily routine keeps you away from home frequently, you might want to explore the world of spill-proof bowls – an investment that guarantees your pets’ uninterrupted hydration, no matter where you are.
You may also want to consider adding multiple drinking stations in your home in case one does spill or they finish one water bowl before you arrive home.
After all, a hydrated pet is a happy and healthy pet!
Shade and Shelter
Provide your pets a shaded area to escape the sun’s intense rays. Remember, not all shade is created equal; ensure your shelter is well-ventilated and offers robust protection from the sweltering heat. This precaution is paramount, as prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can put your pets at risk of heatstroke. Keep them cool; they’ll thank you with wagging tails and contented purrs.
Avoid Peak Heat Hours
The hottest part of the day typically occurs between 10 AM and 4 PM. Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during these hours, opting for morning or evening walks. While seemingly harmless, the pavement can become a sizzling skillet that can burn your pet’s delicate paw pads. Before venturing out, always perform the “pavement test” to ensure your pet’s safety.
And on that note:
Be Mindful of Exercise
While exercise is crucial for your pet’s well-being, be mindful of the temperature and intensity of activity during summer. Shorter, more frequent walks are an excellent alternative to long, strenuous outings. Pets can’t sweat like humans, so they rely on panting to cool down, which can be less effective in extreme heat.
Believe it or not, pets, especially those with light-coloured fur or exposed skin, can get sunburned too. Consult your veterinarian for a pet-safe sunscreen and apply it to areas with thin or no fur, such as the nose and ears. Remember that regular human sunscreen may harbour chemicals that pose risks to your furry friend, so it’s always best to opt for products with their safety in mind.
Never Leave Pets in the Car
One of the gravest mistakes a pet owner can make during the summer is leaving their beloved companion in a parked car. This decision can have dire consequences, potentially even proving fatal for your furry friend. Even with the windows slightly cracked, the temperature inside a vehicle can escalate to life-threatening levels in a matter of minutes, putting your pet at risk of heatstroke and, tragically, death. Prioritise your pet’s safety above all else by ensuring they’re never left unattended in a sweltering vehicle.
Treat your pets to some homemade frozen goodies to help them cool down. You can freeze dog-friendly fruits like watermelon or make ice cube treats with chicken broth. Alternatively, just keep their regular treats in the fridge.
For a feline-friendly treat you can create ice cubes made from tuna water.
Regular grooming can help keep your pet cool in the summer. Brushing your pet helps remove excess fur, improving air circulation and preventing overheating. However, avoid shaving double-coated breeds, as their fur serves as insulation against both cold and heat.
Watch for Signs of Heat Stroke
Familiarise yourself with the signs of heat stroke in pets, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR PET HAS HEAT STROKE:
Seek Shade or A/C
Move your furry companion to a shady spot or indoors with air conditioning to escape the scorching heat.
Apply ice packs or damp, cold towels to their head, neck, and chest. This helps lower their body temperature.
Offer small sips of cool water, or let them lick ice cubes. It’s crucial not to over hydrate too quickly.
Waste no time – take them straight to a veterinarian for professional attention. Remember, your quick response can be a lifesaver when your pet is distressed due to overheating.
So, as you enjoy the sunny days of summer with your furry companions, remember that their comfort and safety depend on your attentiveness. Following these summer safety tips ensures your pets stay cool and happy, all while strengthening the bond between you and your beloved animals. Make this summer a season of joy and well-being for your pets, and they’ll reward you with boundless love and affection in return. Stay safe and enjoy the sunshine together!