The Summer Survival Guide for Your Pet

There might only be a few weeks of summer vacation left, but that doesn’t mean the heat will be stopping anytime soon. Here in Georgia, sometimes it can swelter all the way until September. And at Deceased Pet Care, we want you to have the safest possible summer with your family and your pets. So we put together a list of how to beat the heat, and stay safe in the summer sun. Pet’s can be a lot more sensitive to sun and temperature than us humans, so just take note and you can chill out for months to come.

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What is Overheating for Your Pet?

We wanted to start with this one, as it is arguably the most crucial pet safety tip for summer. The glaring summer sun, in addition to the sharp increase in temperature can lead to some pretty dangerous situations for your pet. Just imagine how quickly we can become overwhelmed in summer heat. Depending on your breed of dog, reaching a critical heat point can happen almost twice as fast. It’s important to know the signs of heat stroke.

They are: red eyes, excessive panting, weakness, irritability, vomiting, or collapse. If you notice any of these signs in your pet, taking them to a cool place, provide them with fresh water, and give them a cool wet towel to lay on. In extreme cases, call your veterinarian.

Keep the Bowl Fresh and Clean

Water is essential to life, and in the summer months we drink a lot more of it. But let’s face it, the water bowl is usually last on our pet priority list. In the summer months, it needs to be our first. If you have outdoor pet, keep and especially keen eye on the water bowl. Increased temperatures lead to quicker evaporation, consumption, and even mold/algae growth. If you work a 9-5, consider caring for the water bowl on the bookends of you work day, in addition to recruiting your child or roommate to assist.

In addition to making sure water levels are sufficient, we recommend adding a thorough scrub to the bowl twice a week.  

Stay Safe in the Sun

The summer seasons screams for us to be outdoors. While enjoying all the new extra outdoor activities with your pet, make sure to take special notice of their skin. Dogs and cats can sunburn just as easily as humans. If your pet has a short coat, think of investing in pet sunscreen (not human sunscreen with zinc oxide). You’ll keep your pet happier, healthier, and with a much smaller chance of skin cancer down the road.

The Peril of Raw Paws
Have you ever stumbled out of your house barefoot to grab the mail and had the soles of your feet cooked on the way to the mailbox? Each step sizzles the skin and it gets worse with every second. The same is true of your pet’s precious paws. If you have an outdoor pet, make sure they have a shady spot to stand. Or, if you’re taking your indoor pet out for a walk or restroom break, stick to the grass. Avoid hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt which increase in intensity throughout the day. If at all possible only venture out in the early mornings and late afternoons.

If you notice your pet is limping and sensitive on the feet, put a little petroleum jelly on those paws to help soothe the seasonal damage.

Keep Coats Short and Trimmed

As humans, when the air heats up, we tend to trim out lovely locks. But contrary to common thought, you should avoid cutting your pet’s coat in the summer months. Your pet’s fur helps control body heat. If it’s trimmed too short, they could have a difficult time regulating their body temperature and increase their risk of heat stroke.

Instead of cutting fur short, just make sure you add fur brushing as a regular part of the schedule. Your carpets, and your pet with thank you.

Killer Cars or Keep the A/C On

If you’re like us, a pet is just another member of the family. That means they often join us on errand, outdoor excursions, or days at the beach. But just like you should never and would never leave a baby in a car, the same is true of your canine counterpart.

In the summer months, a parked car can increase 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. That’s a quick climb that could lead your pet to severe dehydration, stroke, or even death. If you can’t take your pet inside with you, leave the a/c. The extra gas will be well worth ensuring your pet is happy and healthy for seasons to come.

Watch Out at Backyard BBQs

It’s inevitable that you will attend or throw a BBQ sometime in the coming months. Since your pet is part of the family, we’re almost certain they will join too. Take care with these few extra steps to ensure your pet enjoys the outing as much as you do.

Avoid fatty grilled foods, because although delicious can cause upset stomach and abdominal pain in your pet. One small bite won’t hurt, but take care fido isn’t feeding on everyone’s leftovers. Also beware of corn cobs, peach pits, cherry pits, and other hard food by products. Once ingested by your pet, they can become lodged in the intestine and require medical attention to remove.

So how’d we do? Did we miss anything? Keep in mind this is just a short list, but at Deceased Pet Care, we want your pet to enjoy the healthiest and happiest life possible. Leave us a comment below, and enjoy those last sweet sweet weeks of summer vacation!