We are lucky to live on the Connecticut Shoreline where temperatures are milder this time of year than areas further south. Still, keeping pets cool this summer should be a priority for all pet lovers, not just those in the deep south. Because heatstroke can be life-threatening, we’ve compiled the following list of basic precautions pet lovers should take this summer.
Know Your Pet
Keep your pet’s breed, size, age, health, and weight in mind when sharing a summer outing with them. All of these traits can play a large part in how well a pet can adjust to seasonal temperatures.
Older dogs, young puppies, kittens, brachycephalic dogs, and pets with heart conditions can be more sensitive to high temperatures than otherwise healthy adult pets. Knowing your pet will help you adjust your plans to meet their needs and prevent discomfort and potential emergencies. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.
Have a Plan
When planning your outings or day trips, have extra water on hand for the humans and pets that will be joining in the fun. Consider investing in a collapsible bowl or a bowl and bottle combo if you and your pet(s) are avid hikers, travelers, and/or adventurers.
In addition, keep a towel and small umbrella in your vehicle or hiking backpack to cover your pet from excess sun and cool them off in a pinch. By wetting the towel and draping it over them directly, you can keep your pet from overheating. SPF umbrellas are great for the whole family whether it’s sunny or raining outside. While well protected, cats and small dogs in carriers might enjoy a towel draped over the exterior of their backpack or stroller to create additional shade.
Finally, consider the timing of your outings and how hot the day is going to be. If you’re expecting a very hot day, plan your outings before 10 AM and after 4 PM. The brightest sun tends to be midday therefore avoid peak periods both for your safety and that of your pet.
Choose & Test Equipment Wisely
When adventuring with our pets, it’s important to know what equipment we need and how to use it properly. Do your research when choosing any and all outdoor equipment. When in doubt, contact a trusted dog or cat expert. Don’t follow the latest social media influencer who may have been paid to promote a product that hasn’t been adequately tested.
Once chosen, practice with all equipment indoors before attempting to harness and leash your cat, for example. And, make sure your recall is 100% perfect before allowing your dogs off-leash. The last thing you want on a hot summer day is to be searching for your lost hound or cat, especially when far from home.
Pro tip: always bring high-level treats along to ensure that your pet is recovering calories and to make the adventure that much more enjoyable. And, limit time outdoors depending on your pet’s abilities. Follow their lead and listen to their body language.
Protect Their Paws
Paw pads will burn. Burned paws can cause our pets significant pain therefore test the ground with your hand or foot before allowing your pet to step on any surface. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Sticking to off-peak sun times and walking in shaded areas and over grass are great ways to prevent injury.
Keep in mind that concrete, asphalt, turf, rocks, etc. can absorb heat from the sun and should therefore be avoided. If your area is mostly covered with these materials, consider training your pet to wear boots during their summertime explorations.
Learn from the Best
At Shoreline Happy Paws, we love to take our clients’ dogs out for hikes. To learn about how we prepare and protect the dogs in our care for safe summer adventures, contact us at email@example.com or 860-964-0464.