Summer Safety Tips for your Furry Friends

By Melissa Sears, American Red Cross Volunteer & Animal Lover

It’s hard to resist those beautiful 80 degree weather days when the sun is out, skies are clear & it’s the perfect time to take your playful pooch to the dog park. After a long week indoors at work, it can be tempting to play catch outside for hours with Michael Bark Jordan, bring your furry companion camping for the weekend or enjoy a local pet-friendly outdoor festival. Even if you don’t have your little fur ball of joy with you, keeping them in mind while you’re out for the entire day is important for their safety.

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It’s important to know the where, when & how pets are likely to overheat.  If your pet stays at home, try keeping a fan or two on in the house, brush them often or take them to a pet groomer to get a shave.  There are even cool, tasty treats you can make your cats & dogs since you can’t share your popsicle or ice cream with your fur-child. Know how to be aware of the signs & what to do with your pet during the summer time with some of these Summer Pet Safety Tips:

● Age, weight & breed of your pet can cause them overheat easier. Pets that are
very young, old, overweight or don’t get enough exercise are more susceptible to
heat stroke as well as certain dog breeds like boxers and pugs are prone to overheat.

● Physical signs of overheating & heat stroke include: heavy panting, glazed eyes,
rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of
coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and
unconsciousness.

● Your pet should have equal parts sun & shade during hot, humid days. Make sure they get plenty water during summer activities.  Tip: Buy a collapsible travel water bowl that you can bring with you to a restaurant, festival or even on a run at the park.

● Be able to treat your pet if you suspect heat stroke. Learn more here.

Download the Pet First Aid app on Apple or Android phones for mobile access when you’re on-the-go because when something happens & you need to know what to do in the moment it’s helpful to have pet emergency support available on-hand.

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