Summer is finally here! But along with the carefree days of sun and fun come scorching heat and humidity that can drain even the fittest athlete. Our furry family members are just as prone to being affected by the heat as we are, so it's important to keep an eye on the forecast and take proper precautions to protect our pets from the dangers of summer weather. Turn these tips into habits this season, so you and your pets will have a happy, healthy summer.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR
It only takes 30 minutes on a 70 degree day for the inside of a car to reach 104 degrees. Since most of our summer days here in the bluegrass are well into the 80’s you can see just how devastating the heat can become to an animal trapped in a hot car. Never, leave your pet inside a hot car, even for just a few minutes. If you see an animal that has been left in a non-running car please call LFACC at (859) 255-9033.
BEWARE OF HOT PAVEMENT
We all want to show off our dogs and take them to fun events going on around town in the summertime. However, sometimes Fido should just stay home. On cloudless days, pavement heats up fast, and gets hot enough to cause burns and painful blisters to bare feet. We tend to forget this because our feet are protected by shoes, but doggie paw pads can burn just as easily. To see if your dog’s paws will remain safe, place the back of your hand to the pavement for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for paws, so either leave your pup at home in the cool, or invest in a pair of doggie shoes to protect his feet.
PROVIDE FRESH WATER AT ALL TIMES
It's always important to make sure our pets drink enough water, but on especially hot days, your animal may drink much more water than you would expect. Make sure to keep plenty of fresh, cool water available at all times to help keep them hydrated. Be sure to pack bottles of water and a travel bowl when you're away from home with your pup and offer him a drink often throughout the day.
KEEP EXERCISE TO A MINIMUM DURING THE DAY
No one wants to take a long walk or jog when it’s 90 degrees outside. Keep exercise to a minimum during the heat of the day, and aim to take your walks or runs during the morning and evening hours when it’s cooler and the sun is less harsh. Chances are, your dog will never turn down the leash, no matter how hot it is, so it's up to you to make the call when the temperature is too high
DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN
Dog’s with fair skin or thin fur will need sun protection just like we do. It’s always a good idea to use a high SPF sunscreen stick to protect your dog's nose and any exposed skin areas to protect them from painful sunburns. If your pup is at higher risk for sunburn due to very short or thin fur, a doggy t-shirt is a great way to protect his skin when he's out in the sun.
MAKE SUMMER SAFETY FUN
Don't let the heat get you down--you can keep your pets cool while having fun with your favorite summer activities. For water-loving dogs, a kiddie pool or sprinkler make great summertime activities that are super fun and inexpensive. Or, try these easy pupsicle recipes for a tasty treat to help your pup cool off. For a longer-lasting activity, fill a bucket with water, add some treats or toys, and freeze. When it's frozen solid, remove the block of ice from the bucket and place outside. The toys and treats frozen inside will stimulate your pup's mind while encouraging him to lick the ice, helping him stay cool and entertained.