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Although humans and pets alike enjoy the longer days and warmer weather that summer can bring, the higher temperatures and prolonged exposure to sunlight can be dangerous for our pets, particularly as they aren’t able to tell us if they are uncomfortable.

It is essential to monitor your pets carefully during the summer season to ensure that they remain as healthy and happy as possible. Here are our top tips for keeping your beloved pet safe in summer.

Vehicle Safety For Pets in Summer

Leaving a pet in a car for any period of time over the summer could prove fatal. Temperatures inside vehicles can soar very quickly. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after just half an hour the temperature inside the car can reach 104 degrees.

However, in summer when the outside temperature is anywhere between 80 and 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can climb to anywhere between 130 and 172 degrees. You should avoid taking your pet in the car whenever possible, and if you have no choice then ensure you leave a window open and a supply of water.

Signs of Dehydration and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Dehydration and heat stroke are extremely dangerous for animals, and some breeds of pet are more at risk than others thanks to their weight or thick, furry coats. The most obvious signs of dehydration and heat stroke include decreased urination, sunken eyes, excess lethargy and a disinterest in food.

If you are concerned that your pet is suffering from heat stroke or is dehydrated, the best way of cooling them down is by draping them in a wet towel or spraying them with cool water.

Ensure that your pet has fresh water available to them at all times. You can even put ice in their water trays to help keep them cool. If you have tried the above methods of cooling your pet and are still concerned about their wellbeing, seek veterinary advice immediately.

Keep Your Pet’s, Coat Long

Many pet owners mistakenly believe that shorter coats are better in summer as it will help their animal to stay cooler. However, when you brush your pet’s hair you actually stimulate their circulation which in turn helps them to regulate their body temperature. Daily brushing is extremely beneficial for your pet.

Also, longer hair will also protect your pet’s skin from harmful UV rays, preventing them from getting burnt.

Skin Protection For Pets

If your pet has naturally short hair, you may wish to consider using pet sunscreen. Never use a standard human sunscreen as many contain zinc oxide, an ingredient that is safe for your two-legged family but highly toxic to dogs and other mammals.

If you aren’t sure which sunscreen to use, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Be Careful on Sidewalks

If you have a canine companion, you will still need to take him for his regular daily walk. However, you should avoid taking him out between around 12 noon and 4 pm, as this tends to be when heat and humidity are at their highest levels. This is especially important for those short-snouted breeds, like bulldogs, who find it hard to pant efficiently in the humid weather.

Many people also don’t realize quite how hot the ground can get during the summer months. If the sidewalk is too hot for you to walk comfortably on with your bare feet, then it will be too hot for your dog’s paws too. Don’t risk burning them, wait ‘til the ground is cooler before going for walkies.

Water Safety for Pets

If it is hot outside, the cooling off in the water can seem very appealing. However, before turning your dog loose to have fun, you need to make sure that he is going to be safe whether he is a lake, river or the sea. If your dog gets into trouble in a river or the sea, he can be swept downstream or out into the ocean in just minutes. Be aware of currents, even when there doesn’t appear to be any. Many dog owners choose to invest in a colorful life jacket to keep their pet visible and afloat when out in the water.

Lakes and ponds can be particularly dangerous as it can be difficult to gauge their depth. Any bodies of water with blue-green algae and a pungent odor should also be avoided, as they can contain dangerous toxins that could make your pet very sick.

And it goes without saying, if you are planning on letting your dog in the water, never leave him unsupervised.

Parasite Prevention for Dogs

Certain parasites, including heartworms, hookworms, and ticks, are more prevalent in hot, humid weather. Ensure that your pet is up to date with her vaccinations and protected against disease-causing bugs.

With careful attention and suitable preventative treatments, you can help to keep your pet safe and comfortable during the summer.