Warm Weather Tips
Summer is all about fun in the sun, but there are a few things to be mindful of when taking your furry friends out in the heat.
When traveling, you should never leave your pets in the car unattended. A breezy 70 degree day may feel perfect for most of us, but the inside of your car can reach dangerous (and even fatal) temperatures for your pets on mild days. Even temperatures in the upper 60's can be enough to put your pets at risk of overheating or heat stroke. When possible, it is recommended to leave your pets at home so they can lounge in the AC.
When taking your pets out for a walk be sure to test the temperature of the ground before setting out. You can do this by placing your hand on the ground, and if you can comfortably hold it there for 3-5 seconds then it is likely safe. Going for walks on hot pavement can cause blistering and infection of your pets paw pads, and can create long-term health issues. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t walk outside barefoot, then it’s too hot for your furry friends to do it.
Lots of pets love to go for a refreshing dip on a nice day (and watching them swim around is pretty cute too!). Whether you’re visiting a pool, lake, river, or ocean, you should keep your pet within your line of sight at all times and be vigilant of their surroundings in and out of the water. While they may be great natural swimmers, drowning is a constant risk. We recommend keeping your pet in a lifejacket so they can stay safe while splashing.
It’s important for you and your adventuring buddy to stay hydrated on hot days, but be mindful of where your pet gets their water. You want to avoid letting them drink from pools, stagnant puddles, or bodies of water and instead provide fresh clean water for them to drink. Pool chemicals and salted water can cause health issues and dehydration, and dangerous bacteria and parasites can live in any river or lake.
The main threat that can come from drinking untreated water is leptospirosis (sometimes referred to as lepto), a dangerous bacterial infection. Symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting, fever, increased thirst/urination, and jaundice. It can infect both dogs and humans, and can potentially lead to organ failure.
If you take your pets outside often, it is recommended that you get them annually vaccinated against lepto as a cheap and efficient way to prevent infection and keep your dogs adventuring for summers to come.
More information on warm weather risks and how to prevent them can be found here:
- Pets in Vehicles (American Veterinary Medical Association)
- Dogs and Water Safety (Fetch by WebMD)
- Walking Your Dog in Hot Weather (RSPCA)
- Leptospirosis (American Veterinary Medical Association)