Around F.C.

Safe for the Summer: Ways for Your Pet to Beat the Heat and More

Although summer is seen by most people as a way to enjoy the warmer weather through various activities and events, the season’s weather can unfortunately not be as enjoyable for people’s furry friends. 

To ensure proper care during the summer months, people can take precautions so their beloved pet can enjoy the season along with their owners.  Extreme heat, loud fireworks and smoke inhalation are factors to keep in mind when considering an animal’s safety. 

As this summer brings in high temperatures, the intense heat can be detrimental to an outdoor pet. Patricia Britt, the co-owner of Arlington’s Capital Petsitters, said she recommends keeping dogs and cats indoors “as much as possible.” Indoor activities, such as a game of fetch or food puzzles, can provide the same amount of fun a pet can get from being outdoors. 

“Of course dogs need to go out for short walks to take care of their business, but try to time longer walks for early mornings when the temps are cooler,” Britt said. “If you’re feeling the heat when you’re outdoors, you can be sure your pets are too!”

Posh Pets founder and co-owner Kimberly Richmond followed Britt’s sentiment about hot, summer days and its negative effects on animals. She said her dog walking company tries to stick to grass or shaded areas when taking the dogs out, while also providing water bottles and portable water bowls so the dogs can remain hydrated. 

Taking the right precautions can ensure that one’s pet experiences a fun and safe summer. (Courtesy: Capital Petsitters)

“Dog’s paw pads can be extremely sensitive to the hot pavement,” Richmond said. “A good rule of thumb is to place the back of your hand on the pavement and if it’s too hot for you to hold it there for seven seconds, it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.”

Richmond also said mosquitos are a risk for pets during the summer months due to their bites sometimes causing heartworm in dogs. She suggests that owners give their dog a monthly heartworm preventive and to avoid going out with their pets during dusk, as that is when mosquitos are out in “full force.”  

Although the Fourth of July has passed, fireworks are still launched, resultantly scaring or stressing pets. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website, turning on soft music, being wrapped in a snuggly-fitting t-shirt or asking a veterinarian for anti-anxiety medication are a few ways a pet may feel more at ease when loud fireworks are going off.  

One recent concern this summer has been the occurrence of smokey air due to wildfires. While the warnings state people should not risk going outside when these conditions occur, the warning should also be applied to pets. 

If there happens to be more smokey air this summer, keeping a pet indoors and monitor-ing their bathroom breaks are ways to prevent smoke inhalation in animals. If a pet displays any symptoms of smoke inhalation, such as coughing/gagging, difficulty breathing and fatigue/weakness, seek medical attention from a veterinarian.