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  • Writer's pictureJulie Reisinger, RVT, LATg

Summer Safety for Pets

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

Even though many cities, counties, and states are in various levels of reopening, outdoor recreation is increasing, which can only mean one thing - Summer is here! Here are some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe and healthy:

Hot Cars Can Kill Pets: Temperatures in vehicles can rise very quickly, even when parked in the shade and/or if the windows are cracked or lowered. In just ten minutes, the temp can rise 19 degrees! Even if the temperature outside doesn’t seem that hot to you, your pet can quickly become at risk of serious illness or even death. It’s best just to leave your pet at home whenever possible.

If you love 'em, leave 'em at home on hot days!

Practice Basic Vehicle Safety: If you’re bringing your pet inside with you when you reach your destination, many overlook basic travel safety. According to Paws to Click, 84% of dog owners bring their dogs on trips but do not use restraints of any kind. If your pet is loose in the vehicle, it can become a distraction and a hazard, not to mention become injured or killed. As pointed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association, not only could your pet be injured (or killed) by airbags, but they can also be thrown from the vehicle in a collision. It’s also a good idea to keep those windows rolled up, as your pet could be ejected from the vehicle even during a minor fender-bender, and is at risk of being injured by flying debris if it’s head/face/upper body are outside of the car.

Traveling with your pet or can’t leave your pet at home? SLV Pet Care offers Dog Adventures and in-home Pet Sitting to allow you the freedom to run errands, shop, or dine out without worrying about your pet!

Fireworks may be enjoyable to us, but not to our pets

Fireworks and Your Pet: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to pets and fireworks!

  • Make sure that your pet has an ID tag with your current contact info. If your pet doesn’t already have one, talk to your vet about microchipping. This is fairly inexpensive and relatively pain-free for your pet, and is a great back-up in the event your pet’s ID tag goes missing (make sure your chip’s contact info is also up to date).

  • Make sure your pet is safe and secure. For outside pets and livestock, this means ensuring that fences are tall enough to prevent jumping/climbing out, and that they are strong/secure enough to keep animals confined. For inside pets, this may mean closing them off in a secured area or room, and limiting their access to pet doors and open windows.

  • Leave your pet at home when watching fireworks. The loud blasts, bright lights, and noisy crowds can cause anxiety and panic in many pets. Even if your pet is leashed, leashes break, you can lose your grip, or your pet can entangle you in the leash, causing injury to one or both of you.

Sparky tries his best to get table scraps

Barbecue Safety: While it’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t allow your pets near an open flame or hot grill, there are other dangers having a BBQ can present. You’ll also want to keep charcoal, skewers, and other BBQ implements out of the reach of your pets. In addition, remind your family and guests that table scraps can be bad for pets. Some foods are actually dangerous for your pet to consume, and pancreatitis can be a deadly condition caused by an excessive intake of fatty foods. Vet clinics around the country see an increase of the number of these cases around the holidays from pets getting into human food. For more info on pancreatitis, here's a great article from the AKC.

For more information on protecting your pet on the 4th of July, check out this article by the AVMA.

Beat the Heat: Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are potentially life threatening conditions. If it seems hot outside to you, it’s a safe bet that it’s too hot for your pet as well! Make sure your pet or livestock have access to fresh, cool water and shade whenever they are outside. Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day, unless it is for a quick potty break. You’ll also want to make sure that when you do go on walks, you avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces like asphalt, sand, and rock. If you can’t hold the back of your hand to the surface for at least 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on. You should also watch for signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Enjoy the great outdoors with your best friend!

These are just a few of the safety concerns you should be aware of while celebrating the summer with your pets. For guidance on other warm weather pet health issues, the AVMA has published this blog post and 8 things you can do to protect your dog in the summer.

Stay safe out there, and check out our other pet safety blogs on hiking and wildlife viewing with your dog!



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