Keeping your pets safe in the summer

That you are adopt your first pet or adding another furry family member to the fold, you probably know that owning a pet is a huge responsibility.

Taking your pet to their routine vet visits, providing them with toys to play with and a comfortable bed is the tip of the iceberg. You may not realize it, but your pet’s needs change with the seasons – and they can’t hold an umbrella or put on a snowsuit. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some important steps you need to take to keep your pet safe and healthy this summer.

know your breed

While many people adopt mixed breeds from local shelters, others choose to purchase purebred dogs from reputable breeders. It goes without saying that you don’t want to support puppy mills or breeders with sketchy backgrounds. Want to know more about your dog’s breed than how to say Papillion or the correct Cane Corso pronunciation. Suppose you adopt an English Bulldog or a Pug; getting to know brachycephalic breeds and how to care for them is paramount. These types of dogs, in particular, are prone to heat exhaustion in the summer. A Chinese Crested or American Hairless Terrier will need SPF to protect their skin from sun damage or skin cancer in the summer. So, find out what breed of dog you are buying for specific summer needs.

All water bowls

Just like you, your dog will likely spend more time outdoors in the summer, and just like you, your dog will need to hydrate more often than during the colder months. Not only make sure you have their water where you keep it inside your home, but a bowl outside is also essential. If you’re taking your dog on a hike, to the beach, or on any other outdoor adventure away from home, plan ahead and bring a portable water bottle and water to fill it up.

Made in the shade

Although it is illegal in many states of chain your dog outside, in others it is not. Since it’s up to you as the owner of the animal in states where chaining is legal, you may decide to do so for a few days. If so, make sure your dog has plenty of shade to retreat to when the sun is shining. A dog bed with a canopy under a tree is an ideal spot. Show your outdoor dog a little more love by including a plastic wading pool he can cool off in whenever he wants. While it’s best to fence your dog and ditch the chain, keep your dog cool and comfortable with the previously mentioned necessities if you’re on a budget and saving up for your fence.

Related: First TEDMED talk by Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Health Commissioner, on

Eat fresh and seasonal

There are plenty of foods on the “do not feed” list for dogs, and they are worth educating. Even indoor and outdoor plants and flowers can pose a risk if your dog is curious enough about them to eat them. Although dark chocolate, macadamia nuts, and xylitol pose the most serious threats to your dog, you can take advantage of summer’s seasonal abundance of special treats for your pup. Dogs are carnivores and the bulk of their diet should be meat, but they love to feast on summer vegetables like blueberries, cucumbers, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, and even pineapple! The next time you and your family have a picnic, get Fido in on the action; they will be as happy as you!

Vehicle security

In the same way, you would never leave a baby or child in a hot car; you cannot leave your dog in the car while you run errands. Many people take their dogs with them in their daily activities, but it’s hard to leave them in your vehicle in the summer, even if you’re just “jumping around”. Cars heat up quickly in the summer, even with cracked windows. If you’re heading somewhere your puppy can’t come, it’s best to leave him at home, where he’ll stay safe.

Having a pet, for most people, is just as joyful as having a child. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your pet like you would any other member of the family. Keep your furry friends safe this summer by following the above guidelines for a healthy and happy season.

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