This time of year, we spend a lot of time tending to the yard and garden, planning vacations or family gatherings, and attending various parades, events, or concerts, but where in all of this does the family pet stand? In the seasonal hubbub, pets can either seem more underfoot than usual, or they could find themselves a bit lonely while everyone goes in different directions. In case your summer pet safety tactics need a refresher, we offer some seasonally relevant tips and tricks.

Step One: The Bugs

Protecting your pet from internal and external parasites is a job all year long, but because these reach peak numbers in the heat and humidity, it’s absolutely critical that your pet isn’t exposed. Mosquitoes spread heartworm disease, fleas cause a lot of pain, frustration, and intolerable skin reactions, and ticks are responsible for the spread of Lyme disease (among others).

Speaking of the Heat

Heat stroke is a real threat in the summer. Please do not allow your pet to overexert themselves in the middle of the day, walk on hot concrete or asphalt, or sit in a parked car. A seemingly pleasant day can turn scorchingly hot inside a closed vehicle within a matter of minutes, placing a pet’s health (and life) on the line.

The sun’s rays can also be damaging to your pet’s skin. Please let us know if you think your pet would benefit from specially-formulated sunscreen, or a certain summer haircut to get the skin breathing.

Water Cool Down

One of the best methods of summer pet safety hinges on water. Always be sure to provide lots of fresh, cool water, and encourage your pet to play in water to cool down. Feel free to use a spray bottle on your pet if they don’t mind, or apply damp washcloths to their body.

If you are taking your pet to the beach, pool, river, or stream, outfit them in a snug-fitting personal flotation device (PFD), or doggy life jacket.

July Fourth

Independence Day is fun, but it’s notorious for being one of the most common days of the year for lost and missing pets. The fireworks, parades, and loud crowds all contribute to a pet’s heightened stress and anxiety levels. Being scared is no fun, especially if a pet doesn’t have a safe, quiet place to hide.

If you can be home for your pet during these intense moments of noise and unpredictability, they’d likely appreciate it. Otherwise, make sure your pet is inside before heading out the door yourself.

Storms

Along the same lines as July 4th, thunder and lightning storms truly upset animals. To minimize the ensuing panic and emotional chaos, turn on some soft music and lighting, and sit and snuggle your pet through the experience.

If you think your pet would benefit from medication, supplements, pheromones, or behavioral training to curb their anxiety, we’re always happy to discuss supportive options with you.

Summer Pet Safety

Lastly, don’t let BBQs, block parties, and picnics undermine your summer pet safety tactics. Inhibit your pet from sampling any fatty meat, bones, corn cobs, chocolate, alcohol, and more. If you ever need to board your pet during these times, The Pets Place Animal Hospital is always here for you!