When you are a pet owner, you’ll do everything in your power to make sure that your pet is safe, healthy, and happy. As we move into one of the hottest parts of the summer, it is critical to consider how the heat is affecting your pet.
Here are some of our top safety tips to keep in mind to keep your pets healthy and happy during the summer:
Summer temperatures can be intense, particularly when you combine them with Florida’s signature high humidity. Keep your animal in the shade, provide plenty of water, take them for walks in the early morning or later evening when it is cooler, and keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day. Be sure to monitor your dogs when you walk, as most dogs will continue to walk or run even if they are overheating. Asphalt and concrete can get extremely hot and burn your pet’s paws, so try to walk on the grass if possible.
Use vent covers
Curious pets enjoy exploring every nook and cranny in your home. If you have a smaller animal, they could possibly explore one or more of your heating and cooling vents and get stuck! Not only is this hazardous to the safety of your pet, but can be very costly in potential damages. You can easily address this situation by adding covers to all entry and exits vents in your home.
Adjust your thermostat
Many pet owners wonder if they should leave the AC on for their pets when they aren’t home. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that during summer months, you should leave your AC at 78 when you’re home and 85 when you’re not. If your pet is home alone during the day, a safe bet is to set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and leave ceiling fans on. This way you can still save on energy costs but also keep your furry friend comfortable. Use standing fans sparingly: Due to the way pets cool themselves, they aren’t as effective for animals as they are for humans. On especially hot days, close any blinds or shades, and keep heat-producing lights off. Always ensure there is an adequate amount of water left for your pet during the time you are gone.
Be alert to symptoms of heatstroke in your pet
As temperatures continue to rise in the summer, a serious concern for pet owners is the risk of heatstroke in their pet. Your pet may be suffering from heatstroke if you witness any of the following conditions: heavy panting, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lack of coordination, vomiting, seizures, or a deep red or purple tongue.
If this is the case, remove your pet from the heat immediately by bringing them to an air-conditioned area. Place cold towels or ice packs around their head, neck and chest. You can also put them in the bath and run cool water over their body and get them to drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. Take them to the vet ASAP.
The tips above can help you ensure your pet’s safety, especially during the hot, hazy summer months. Keep yourself and your pet safe and happy this summer!
Snyder is partnering with First Coast No More Homeless Pets this year for the 5th summer in a row to help support their mission of keeping pets in the Northeast Florida area safe and healthy. If you share a photo of your pet staying cool on our Facebook or Twitter page, we will donate $1 to First Coast No More Homeless Pets! All you have to do is submit a photo with the hashtag #MyPetIsCool. Help support a great local organization – share your cool pet pics today.