Summer Safety for Pets

Enjoy fun in the sun—and protect your precious pet—with these safety tips for the summer.

Keeping House
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The folks at the ASPCA know a thing or two about caring for pets. Here are some of their guidelines for a safe summer for Fido and Kitty.

Water, please!

It seems pretty basic, but pets can get quickly dehydrated when it's hot. Keep a travel bowl in your car, so you're able to give your pet a clean, cool drink if you're going to the park or beach.

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Watch the thermometer

Pets can suffer from heat stroke during extreme weather. What are the heat stroke symptoms in dogs? Signs include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, increased heart rate, stupor or even collapse. If your pooch shows any of these behaviors, get him to an air-conditioned area pronto and phone your vet while you promptly cool him down.

Don't park your pet

Never ever leave your pet alone in a parked car in hot weather—even with the windows open (it's even illegal in some states). On an 80-degree day, your car could quickly go over 100 degrees (and that can put your pet in fatal danger). What should you do if you see a pet in a parked car? Go into a nearby store and see if you can find the owner. If you can't, call your local animal control agency or police department immediately.

Dive into safety

Remember, not all pups can do the doggie paddle. Be mindful of your pet around swimming pools, and if you're going to be on a boat, make sure they're wearing a flotation device. (Think about how cute they'll look in a life jacket.)

Chemical IQ

Do you use bug spray? Before you get any ideas about spraying your pet, know that DEET, a common repellant ingredient, is dangerous for animals. Instead, try a bug spray for dogs. You should also keep an eye on your outdoor candles, which for a curious pet, could result in a burned nose or paw. Citronella candles, insect coils (the kind you light and burn) and other types of oil products are toxic to dogs, and can cause real stomach troubles if ingested.

Mean streets

On a hot day, asphalt can be really uncomfortable for dogs. Not only are their furry bodies close to the ground (which can heat up quickly), their paw pads are sensitive and can burn. Frankly, on really hot days, it's best to leave your dog at home where she can comfortably chill out.

Ryan Homes Question: Do you have a pet? How do you take special care of him during the summer months?