Summer in the south brings warmer temperatures that will only continue to rise as we move into the peak months of the season. Because of this it goes without saying that the summer heat can be overwhelming and even dangerous if we don’t remember to stay cool and hydrated. This weather can also be equally perilous if not even more so for our pets. Our furry family members can suffer from overheating and sunburns just like we can. To help keep our beloved companions safe this summer let’s go over four ways to take care of our pets during the warmer months:

  • Never Leave Your Pets in a Parked Car: we have all experienced the intense heat that greets us when we get into our car after it has been sitting out in the sun. Even if you are only gone for a moment forcing your pet to endure that level of heat can be fatal. To put it into perspective the average temperature for the month of July in Florida is 82 degrees. After only 20 minutes of your car sitting out in the sun its interior temperature will be roughly 114 degrees and can climb up to upwards of 130 degrees within an hour, even if the windows are cracked. According to Peta, fifty-nine pets in the U.S. died as the result of being trapped in a hot vehicle in 2021. Keep your pet safe from overheating by leaving them at home or by bringing them into your destination with you.
  • Don’t Leave Your Pet Unsupervised by Bodies of Water: Few things are as adorable as having fun with our pets in the water on a hot day. However, not every pet is a good swimmer. Whether you are taking your pet to the beach, on a boat, or in the pool, keep an eye on them. If you know your pet is going to be swimming, consider getting them a life vest. Also make sure that your pet has access to fresh water so they will not be tempted to drink water that could potentially be unsafe.
  • Beware of Hot Asphalt: going for a walk is a great form of exercise for both you and your pet. But when the asphalt can reach up to 150 degrees in the summer it can be less than enjoyable for your furry friend. The intense heat can burn their paw pads or cause them to become dehydrated. Because of this consider getting your pet protective shoes or taking them for walks during the cooler parts of the day to get some exercise.
  • Watch What They Eat: Cook outs are a summertime staple filled with delicious foods. But as great as these foods are and as badly as our pets want some of it, we must be careful about what our furry friends eat. Our pets cannot handle a sudden change in diet like we can and many of the foods that we commonly enjoy can be toxic for them. Click Here to view a list from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on what foods are poisonous to our pets.

A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to our pet’s safety is that if it is too hot for us it is too hot for them. If the pavement is too hot for you to walk on with bare feet, if the car is too hot for you to sit in, or if it is too hot for you to be outside then it is too hot for them too. We always want to do our best to take care of our pets and understandably so, they are family. Though the summertime brings some risks that we need to watch out for it does not mean that we can’t enjoy the season with our furry friends. We just need to remember to stay cool and stay safe.

For more resources on how to take care of your pet this summer follow the links below:

HumaneSociety.org – Keep Pets Safe in the Heat

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To  Animals – Hot Weather Safety Tips

American Veterinary Medical Association – Pets in Vehicles

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