Don't Be a Hot Dog: How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Summer is finally here and you're ready to soak up the sun. As you dust off your flip flops and dig out your sunglasses, don't forget about your furry friends. While the warm weather means more time outside with your pets, the heat and sun can be dangerous for them if you're not careful. Before you fire up the barbecue or head to the beach, make sure you've taken steps to keep your pets safe. Their smaller bodies mean they can overheat faster, and sensitive noses and paws need protection from sunburn and hot surfaces. Follow these tips to make sure your pets stay happy and healthy all summer long so you can focus on making memories together without worry. The sun and fun may be calling your name, but don't be a hot dog - put your pets' safety first!

Prepare for the Hot Weather: Stay Hydrated and Never Leave Your Pet in a Hot Car

Staying hydrated is key. Always provide your pets with plenty of fresh, clean water to drink, especially if they'll be outside or active. Replenish water bowls frequently and consider getting larger bowls so your pets can drink their fill. You'll also want to limit activity during the hottest parts of the day, typically midday, when temperatures peak.

Never, ever leave your pets in a hot car. Cracking the windows has little effect, and temperatures inside a vehicle can rise extremely quickly. Your pets can suffer heatstroke in just 15 minutes. It's not worth the risk.

Watch out for hot surfaces like asphalt, sand, and concrete. These areas absorb and retain heat and can burn your pet's paws. Walk pets in the grass or dirt when possible and consider doggie shoes.

Have a plan for providing shade and cooling. If your pet will be outside, make sure there is a shady area for them to rest. You can also provide cooling pads, mats, and vests. Groom pets regularly to minimize heat retention from their coat.

Be prepared for emergencies. Pack a pet first aid kit, like Quake Kare's Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit, and know how to properly treat overheating and burns. Keep emergency vet contact info on hand. The weather may be hot, but by taking the right safety measures, you and your faithful companions can have an enjoyable summer together.

Know the signs of dehydration and heatstroke

If your dog is getting overheated, move them to the shade or place them into cool, not cold water. Offer cool, not cold water to drink. You can also put a wet, cool towel over your pet to cool them off.

Dehydration occurs when your pet loses more fluids than they take in. Signs to watch for include:

  • Lethargy
  • Panting or drooling
  • Dry nose
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting with or without diarrhea
Heatstroke is extremely dangerous and can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include:
  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Disorientation or very slow responses
  • Body temperature over 104°
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Seizures or collapse resulting in coma

Protect Your Pet From Sunburn and Bug Bites: Use Pet-Friendly Products

Use Sunscreen Made for Pets

Just like us, our pets can get sunburned. Their fur doesn’t protect them from the sun’s UV rays. Apply pet-safe sunscreen, especially on areas with little fur like the nose, ears, and belly. Look for sunscreen specifically formulated for pets that is fragrance-free, water resistant, and has an SPF of at least 30. Reapply as directed.

Protect Sensitive Areas

Pay extra attention to sensitive areas like the nose, ears, and paw pads. These spots are more prone to sunburn and the development of sun-related skin cancers in pets. You can apply pet-safe sunscreen, but also consider physical barriers like:

  • Dog goggles or sunglasses to shield eyes and the surrounding area.

  • Pet clothing like t-shirts, hats, and foot protectors for hot pavement.

  • Bandanas that you can dampen with cold water and tie around the neck. This helps lower body temperature and protects from sun exposure.

Use Natural Insect Repellents

In the summer, bugs like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are more active and can torment our pets. Use natural insect repellents to deter these pests in a safe way:

  • Essential oils: Apply diluted peppermint, eucalyptus, or citronella essential oil to your pet’s collar, bandana or directly to the fur. Reapply every few hours.

  • Brewer’s yeast: Feeding your pet brewer’s yeast tablets or powder helps repel insects from the inside out. The smell deters the pests.

  • Lemons: Rub lemon juice on your pet’s fur, especially on the ears, tail, and paws. The strong citrus smell naturally repels many insects. Reapply every few hours.

As the summer sun shines and outdoor adventures beckon, ensuring the safety of our beloved pets becomes paramount. Quake Kare's pet first aid kits play an essential role in keeping our furry friends protected and cared for. These kits are not just a tool, but a symbol of our commitment to their well-being. They hold the potential to swiftly turn a distressing situation into a manageable one, providing the necessary resources to handle minor injuries or stabilize your pet before getting to a vet. So, as we embrace the joy of the summer season, let's not forget to equip ourselves with Quake Kare's pet first aid kits. It's our duty as pet parents to ensure that our adventures are filled with nothing but wagging tails and happy trails.