We hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend – it means the summer season is officially here! Shelter and veterinarians around the country have seen an increase in adopted animals and new members of the family during social distancing due to COVID-19. As we head into summer and outdoors, here are some important things to keep in mind for the safety and health of our furry family members!

Family on Tropical Vacations With a Dog.

Tips to Protect Your Pet This Summer

Microchip Your Pet

  • These tiny, safe, permanent identification chips can save your pet’s life. Summer brings thunderstorms, fireworks, and more time outside, each of which could result in an escape. Having a microchip that is registered with your up-to-date phone numbers and information can get your pet back to you as quickly a possible.
    • Don’t have one yet? Visit your local veterinarian (find your closest THRIVE at THRIVEvet.com) and ask for an appointment for a microchip placement. It is a quick injection, and we promise to give lots of yummy treats to make it as easy as possible.
    • Think your pet has a chip, but not sure if it is registered? Make an appointment for an exam and chip check. Your veterinarian can give you the chip number and help you get it registered!

Safely Walk Your Pet

    • Short walks are key in the hot weather. Aim for early morning or late evening for cooler temps and think about their feet, too. Hot pavement can cause burns and blisters for our pets – if you can’t walk barefoot, neither should they! At 87⁰ F outside, asphalt can reach 143⁰, meaning skin can blister and burn in under a minute. Be mindful as you walk to any discomfort exhibited by your pet and check their paws for blisters, redness or if they appear darker in color.
    • If your pet needs to go out during the day, let them walk on grassy surfaces that do not retain heat as much as pavement.
    • If you must walk your dog during the day, consider dog booties or socks to protect their paw pads from direct contact with hot sidewalks.

Traveling With Your Pet

    • Whether it is a quick trip to the store, or taking your pet to their yearly vet exam, it is important to never leave a pet unattended in a car. Even with the window cracked, the heat in a car can reach over 100⁰ F in only ten minutes and 120⁰ in 30 minutes.
    • It is illegal in many states and local municipalities to leave an animal unattended in a car under certain conditions, including hot days.

Beware of BBQs

    • As the weather heats up, it is an American tradition to fire up the grill and enjoy a BBQ with friends and family. A curious cat could spell trouble near the grill, so keep all pets away from open flames and always monitor the grill. In addition, while you enjoy dinner and drinks, make certain your pet does not get a taste. Many BBQ staples, like beer, onions, garlic, and cooked bones from chicken wings for example, are extremely harmful to your pet.
    • Advise any visiting guests that they should not feed your pets and to keep an eye on their plates in case Fido’s curiosity get’s the best of him.

Know the Signs of Overheating

    • The summer heat affects our pets quickly. Did you know dogs and cats only sweat through their paws? They pant to expel excess heat but can still become overheated easily. Pets with shorter noses, like bulldogs, pugs, etc., are particularly at high risk. Overheating occurs when you pet has an elevated temperature of over 104⁰. If you pet exhibits any of the signs below, contact your vet.
      • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
      • Increased heart rate
      • Drooling
      • Weakness, stupor and/or collapse
      • Seizures
      • Bloody diarrhea and vomiting

Keep Your Pet Hydrated

      • As with the rest of the year, it is important your pet has access to clean, fresh water during the day. When it is hot or humid outdoors, pets can dehydrate quickly and need plenty of water.
      • To help avoid dehydration, keep your pet indoors when it is extremely hot and ensure they have shady spots out of the sun when it is safe to go outside.

Be Aware of Summer Bugs

  • Does the sound of buzzing mosquitoes keep you inside during summer evenings? Those pests, along with ticks and fleas, spread many diseases to your pets. Heartworms and several bacteria that cause severe illness can be tested for and prevented against with the help of your veterinarian. Be sure to ask what is safest and will provide the best protection for your special pet.

Summer is a time for relaxation and extra time with our families. By keeping our pets safe, we can ensure they enjoy the sun and fun with us.