Summer is finally here! Below are some tips for keeping your pets safe and comfortable in the warm weather and throughout the summer months.
Prepare for fireworks Try to keep your animals inside when you hear those dreaded pops. Walk your dogs earlier in the day to prevent going outside during a fireworks show. Provide plenty of hiding spaces inside your home and make sure all possible exits are escape-proof. If your vet has prescribed medication to help your pet during fireworks, be sure to give it to them ahead of time to ensure its effectiveness. Check your window screens Cats love to hang out on window sills during the warm weather. But while your cat is snoozing in the sun or locked in on the birds, your window screen can pop out with enough pressure and give your cat the chance to escape. Be sure to check that your screens are secure. If necessary, crack the windows only a couple of inches so cats can enjoy the breeze but do not have the ability to dislodge a window screen. Protect the toe beans
Did you know that concrete, pavement, and sidewalks can heat up to unbearable temperatures in the sun? The heat can severely injure your dog's sensitive paw pads. Remember: if the ground is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pup! Walk your dog on the grass or use booties to protect those precious toe beans. Never leave your pet in your car Cars heat up to extremely dangerous temperatures within minutes after turning off the engine. Cracked windows do not help! Never leave your pet inside the car, even if you think you will be quick. Prevent an unnecessary tragedy by bringing your pet inside the store (if allowed) or leaving them at home where they can stay cool. Think twice about your flower arrangement
We love to spruce up a space by bringing beautiful garden flowers inside, but it's important to stay aware of what plants are safe for our pets. Tulips, azaleas, dahlias, and hydrangeas are common summer plants that have been reported as toxic to dogs and cats. Opt for zinnias, petunias, and sunflowers instead. (For a complete list of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to dogs and cats, use this ASPCA resource.)
Watch for signs of overheating
Excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy can indicate overheating in your pet. Keep a close eye on your pet to ensure their health and safety. If it's going to be an extremely hot day, consider shorter amounts of time outside or focus time during the mornings and evenings when the temperature is cooler.
Be sure your pets are up to date on their tick preventatives. Always check yourself and your pet for ticks after spending time outside. Try using a lint roller to catch any ticks that haven't attached themselves to you or your pet yet. (For more information about tick prevention, check out this MHS blog post.)