Guest post by Jill Rappaport, award-winning animal advocate, host and consulting producer of Animal Planet’s Dog Bowl and Field Reporter for Puppy Bowl.
As we get ready for the dog days of summer (pun intended) it’s important to think about our pets’ safety. Summer can be such a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a very dangerous season for our beloved fur angels. As a mother of six fur babies – all rescues (please opt to adopt) – I share these tips to enable you to enjoy the warm weather with your beloved pets.
1. Always keep an eye on your pet(s) – even when you’re not at home.
When you and your pet(s) are just romping around in the backyard, stuff happens, especially if you don’t have an enclosed space. In a nanosecond, your pet can easily escape and be gone. So, while you are outside, always either close your fence or put a leash on your pet. Also, try your best to prevent them from eating things off the ground or nibbling on plants, as certain leaves and roots can cause them real harm.
Thanks to technology we now have ways to keep an additional eye on our pets 24/7, even while we’re away from home, with streaming video cameras! I strongly recommend you consider getting a camera, such as the one from Xfinity, to keep an eye on your pet(s), from anywhere, anytime. I have a camera and it gives me great peace of mind when I can check on my six- packs, four which are super seniors with special needs just to make sure all are safe.
2. Check the weather and plan their day.
On really hot days, it’s important to limit your pets’ walks and, if you are hanging out with them outside, be sure there is an umbrella for them to get under. We don’t often think about our pets’ paws, but they can burn very easily on the hot pavement. Also, always have fresh water available, as our pets can easily get dehydrated in the heat.
I know we all know this, but I still want to remind you to never ever leave your pet in the car and even when driving with them (in a car seat, of course) please be mindful of the temperature and have the air conditioning on or have the window partially down, if needed.
3. Protection and accessories your pets may need.
If you take your pets to the beach or even to your pool, please get them a life vest. Believe it or not, not every animal can swim. The very energetic puppies or senior pets with limited sight or mobility issues can trip and fall into the pool or get caught up in a wave and be at risk.
Besides putting a pet-friendly sunscreen on my besties I make sure their summer cuts aren’t too short, as they need a layer of hair/fur to protect from sunburn too. Lastly, I love spending time with my pets outdoors and I make sure they all have tick and flea protection. Now it can be tricky to find the best one for your pet, so please consult your veterinarian and also inquire about natural products such as different citronella oils that can be very effective and safe.
Summer and fireworks go together, which many of us find exhilarating, but our pets can find it terrifying. I cannot tell you how many dogs I have found wandering around and lost after there has been firework activity. It’s easy to prepare in advance if you know there’s going to be fireworks so you can put your pet in a safe, secure, and quieter area. I take my dogs down in the basement so the sound is minimized. I also do this during thunderstorms.
If you don’t have a basement just try to go to an area furthest away from the windows, where the sound is the loudest. You might also consider getting your pet a “thunder shirt”, which wraps their torso and gives them comfort from anxiety producing sounds like fireworks.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Remember that these wonderful creatures are really children that never grow up and we are their voice! So, it’s up to us to keep them safe and sound so they can live a long, healthy, and wonderful life.
As an advocate of rescues, I have to add that the summer season is a great time to adopt a shelter pet; although, I would recommend doing so all year long, of course. So adoption should be your only adoption.
I wish you all a great and safe summer on two legs and four.
Click here to learn more about a recent study on pet owners with a camera.