In case you hadn’t noticed, we are having a dangerously hot summer. According to The Washington Post, June was Earth’s hottest month on record. This means that we need to keep ourselves and our pets safe when going outside. Just like humans, pets are susceptible to heat-related illnesses and can quickly become injured when it’s so hot out. Let’s explore some valuable tips to protect your pets from the heat. Be sure to check out the top apps and sites to find pet sitting jobs once you know these tips so you can be a responsible pet sitter throughout the rest of the summer.
1. Hydration is Key
Always have a fresh and clean bowl of water available for them to drink from. If you’re planning a day out, bring a portable water bottle and a travel bowl to provide your pets with regular access to water. Dehydration can be even more dangerous for animals than humans, leading to death or other severe health problems. Proper hydration will help them regulate their body temperature and stay cool.
2. Create a Cool Environment
Pets need a cool and comfortable place to rest during the summer. Keep them indoors during the hottest parts of the day and ensure your home is ventilated and air-conditioned, if possible. If your pet prefers the outdoors, set up a shaded area with plenty of water and airflow. You can also use cooling mats or damp towels for them to lie on. Remember, hot asphalt and sand can burn their paws, so avoid walking them during peak heat hours.
3. Never Leave Pets in the Car
Leaving pets in a parked car during the summer can be deadly. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, reaching dangerous levels within minutes. Animals can suffer from heatstroke and suffocation in these conditions. It’s best to leave your pets at home if you need to run errands or use apps and sites to find pet sitting jobs when you’re away for an extended period.
4. Regular Grooming
Proper grooming not only helps to keep your pets looking good but also aids in temperature regulation. Regular brushing removes excess fur and prevents matting, allowing better airflow to their skin. However, avoid shaving your pets completely, as their fur provides protection against the sun’s harmful rays and can prevent sunburns.
5. Pay Attention to Signs of Heatstroke
Knowing the signs of heatstroke in pets can be life-saving. Be on the watch for excessive panting, drooling, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse, immediately move them to a cooler area, apply cool (not cold) water to their body, and take them to a vet as quickly as possible.
6. Exercise Wisely
While exercise is vital for pets, you should adjust the intensity and timing of physical activities during the summer. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day and move play time to the early mornings or late evenings when it’s cooler. Be mindful of hot surfaces, such as asphalt, that can burn their paws and cause discomfort.
7. Protect from Sunburn
Pets can get sunburned, too – especially those with light-colored fur and exposed skin. Apply pet-safe sunscreen to sensitive areas like their ears, nose, and belly before heading outside. Check with your veterinarian for sunscreen recommendations suitable for your pet’s skin type.
8. Be Cautious at the Beach and Pool
If you’re taking your pets to the beach or pool, they have to have access to shade and fresh water. Rinse them off after swimming to remove saltwater or chlorine, as they can irritate their skin. Additionally, not all pets are natural swimmers, so keep a close eye on them around water bodies.
Never, ever leave your pets outside by themselves or without access to shade and water. Following these guidelines can make this summer a memorable and pleasant season for you and your beloved pets.
Name: Carolina d’Arbelles-Valle
Job Title: Senior Digital PR Specialist