Hot Under The Collar: A Summer Guide To Pet Protection
Updated: Mar 5
Guest blog by Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends
With another heatwave on approach, Americans up and down the country are dusting off their deckchairs and stocking up on sunscreen. It’s good to be prepared, but that counts too for our non-human friends. Whether you’ve got a pooch or a parrot, take note of these top tips to prepare your pets for a safe summer.
Simple as it may sound, millions of Americans forget this important rule every year. Shade is crucial for pets of all shapes and sizes - even goldfish are sensitive to prolonged sunlight exposure, and if your animals can’t escape the heat, then they are at its mercy! For dogs and cats, it’s wise to build or purchase a form of shelter for the yard. Dog houses now come in all shapes and sizes and can double up for lazy cats or as hutches for smaller mammals.
Summer means more time spent outdoors and more health hazards for your pets. To keep unwanted guests out and reckless car chasers in, it could be worth assembling a protective fence. Doing so is perhaps simpler than you might think; it’s easy to find local fencing companies in your area charging reasonable prices. Just make sure to read reviews, get a quote and discuss your needs before meeting with anyone. It costs, on average, $4,500 to install a new fence, with prices dependent on materials, size and location. When you talk with a licensed installer, confirm they are capable of safely dealing with underground utility lines and that they are bonded and insured.
Change Your Routine
As the days get hotter, you might want to consider a rearrangement of your routines - from waking up to exercise. If you find yourself overheating during the afternoon, it will be twice as uncomfortable for any animals with fur, which is why it makes more sense to take walks in the early mornings/evenings. UV light is particularly important for parrots and domestic birds, so remember to adjust their position throughout the day for better sunlight exposure.
Let’s be honest, dogs in socks look ridiculous, but if that’s what it takes to avoid burnt paws, so be it. There’s a thriving market when it comes to this kind of pet attire, and in areas with hot tarmac, they are essential. For pets that either can’t or won’t wear pet booties, don’t fret - there’s a wide range of other protective options. And remember, if you suspect your pet has burned paws, take them to a vet immediately as they can become infected.
Believe it or not, cats, dogs and horses can all benefit from sunscreen. Breeds with ‘light skin’ or ‘short-hair coats’ are especially at risk of burning. Luckily, there is a range of pet sunscreen products to help you look after all shades of skin and fur. Just make sure you’re buying one that is nontoxic for whatever species it is you’re applying it to.
Know Your Animal
Sometimes, it feels like our pets think and feel just like we do, and we’re not here to comment on that, but when it comes to heat, every animal is different. The best way to equip yourself and your loved ones for the coming summer is to know them. Dogs have an average temperature of 100° and 103°F, and cats range from 100.4º to 102.5ºF. It can be difficult to determine whether your pet has surpassed their threshold, as neither species sweats. Instead, you’ll have to look out for heavy panting, vomiting, thick drool or diarrhea. Research is key.
Keep Cold Water
The easiest, most effective and most affordable solution for summer pet maintenance is a constant supply of cold water. Dogs lose heat through their mouths, and can often be found with their heads half-submerged in the bowl. Cats hate to get wet but will happily stop by for a drink, and birds love nothing more than a summer bath. If you remember one thing, it should be that keeping your animal companion hydrated is a top priority. Additionally, you can provide your pets with a refreshing cool treat that will help keep them cool and stay hydrated!
Clean Up Waste
We already know the importance of cleaning up pet waste but in the summertime, it’s even more critical. With the heat, pet waste degrades faster and invites a host of unwanted critters. To ensure your yard is kept clean, work with a pet waste removal service like Poodini Pet Waste Removal. Not only will they expertly remove pet waste from your yard, but they also provide sanitizing and disinfecting treatments. This is a task that will be well worth outsourcing.
We love our animal friends, and we want them to be safe and comfortable. When summer rolls around, take the necessary precautions to keep your pet cool, hydrated and burn-free.
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Jessica Brody created Our Best Friends so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions. Please visit her site for even more images, articles, and pet-related resources.