Summer is a great time for pets that spend time outside—there’s warm sunshine to help them get Vitamin D, there’s grass to run around on, squirrels to chase, and all sorts of neat smells.  But summer carries its own dangers.  Today, we’ve got some tips to help you keep your pet healthy and comfortable all summer long.   

The #1 thing to do is keep water available at all times.  There are collapsible pet bowls available from the tiniest to the giantest.  Furry pets especially need plenty of water, as their skin will release a lot of water to keep them cooler.  Carry water for them or ensure that you’re near a source of clean water.  Even lizards who love to work on their tan need a dish of water nearby to stay hydrated.  Be sure to watch the humidity, especially when it comes to pets who pant.  With too much moisture in the air, panting doesn’t evaporate moisture from their lungs, and they can’t cool down that way.   

Make it possible to play in the shade.  Animals like dogs can still get sunburn through their fur and on vulnerable spots like their ears and noses.  Check for shady trees, outbuildings, and rock outcrops for a cooler spot where your pet can have a rest.  Also, try taking your pet for a walk in the early morning or evening when it’s not so bad.   

Take care of your pet’s feet when it’s hot.  Would you want to take a walk on hot asphalt in your bare feet?  If possible, avoid such surfaces that could burn your friend’s feet, and if you live in a concrete jungle, buy some shoes or foot guards designed to protect vulnerable paws.  There are plenty of materials and sizes available online and in pet stores.   

It should go without saying, but never, never, never, never leave your pet in the car!  Doesn’t matter if the window is cracked.  The temperature can become deadly in minutes.  Use the same caution you would with children and work your errands around your pet.  If you’ve taken another adult human with you, let them stay with your pet with the AC running if you have to leave the car.   

Know your pet’s needs.  By that we mean to make sure you know what sort of accommodation that type of animal needs and how their bodies work in the summer heat.  Some cats and dogs need to have their hair cut down; others should rock their regular style.  Elderly pets are especially susceptible to the heat, as are flat-nosed mammals like Pug dogs and Persian-type cats.  If your pet seems dazed, overtired, is panting more than usual, or has a reddish or purplish tongue, take them inside right away, and if they don’t perk up within a minute or so, put cold, damp cloths on them, give them water, and call your vet.   

Don’t take our word for it—ask your vet!  They are the best source for recommendations on how to keep your pet happy in the warm season.  Show them the love they deserve by protecting them from excess heat.   If you want to donate to Paw Pet Pantry, check out more information about our needs here.  We always need bags of food, driving services, waste bags, money, and more.  Contact us anytime here, and thank you for helping us show love to animals in need and their humans.  

Sarah Wright, Paw Pet Pantry guest blogger


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