Summer Fun: Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun

May 28, 2024
By: Adriana Valle

Summer brings sunshine, barbecues, and hopefully, plenty of quality time with the fam. But, just like us, pets need extra care during the hot months. Here are some key considerations to ensure your pet stays safe and enjoys some CT Shoreline fun in the sun safely. Here’s Summer Fun: Keeping Pets Safe In The Sun.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun: Heatstroke

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Heatstroke is a serious medical emergency. It occurs when a pet’s body temperature rises too rapidly, and they can’t cool down. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, glazed eyes, vomiting, and even seizures.

Most pets that experience heatstroke do so due to an outdoor activity gone wrong. Heatstroke in pets is usually very preventable and it’s up to us humans to ensure we prioritize prevention.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun: Sunburn

Just like humans, pets can get sunburned, especially those with thinner fur and hairless breeds.

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According to The Pet Oncologist, “Dogs and cats of all ages are at risk of skin cancer. The cause of skin cancer is generally unknown. However, viruses, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, ionising radiation, immunosuppression, and genetic factors, likely play a role.” Look out for lumps, bumps, or changes in moles or freckles, especially on lighter fur or hairless areas. Early detection is crucial, so consult your veterinarian for any suspicious growths and always protect your pet from the sun. More on that below.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun: Other Summer Dangers

Bug Bites and Pests: Mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are more prevalent in warm weather. Use veterinarian-approved flea and tick preventatives and keep up with regular mosquito control measures around your yard.

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Pool Safety: If you have a pool, ensure your pet has a safe way to enter and exit the water. Consider a pet pool ramp or life jacket for unsure swimmers. Read more about pet water safety in the CT Shoreline here.

Toxins: Be aware of plants in your yard or on walks that can be toxic to your pets. Common culprits include lilies, tulips, and azaleas. Avoid areas recently treated with pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Research common toxins in your area, program the ASPCA pet poison control line on your phone, and consult your veterinarian if you suspect exposure.

Summer Treats: While grilling season is upon us, some human foods can be dangerous for pets. Avoid sharing onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and alcoholic beverages.

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Holiday hazards: Fourth of July celebrations can be stressful for pets with loud fireworks and sparklers. Consider leaving your pet with a trusted friend or boarding facility if noise sensitivity is a concern.

Travel: If you’re planning a road trip with your pet, be sure to pack plenty of water and take frequent breaks to allow them to relieve themselves and cool down. Opt for a pet-friendly hotel and consider leaving your pet at home in the case of a professional pet sitter if you can’t properly meet your pet’s needs while traveling.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun: Injury Prevention

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  • Maintain Hydration: Ensure fresh, cool water is readily available at all times. Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl for an extra chill.
  • Limit Time Outdoors: Avoid midday walks when the sun is at its strongest. Opt for early morning or evening strolls on cooler pavement.
  • Find Shady Spots: Create shaded areas in your yard with umbrellas, tents, or even strategically planted trees.
  • Consider Cooling Mats: Invest in a cooling mat for your pet to lie on. There are self-activating mats or ones you can pre-chill in the refrigerator.
  • Beat the Heat with Water Fun: For pets who enjoy it, a kiddie pool or sprinkler can provide a refreshing way to cool down.
  • Prevent Loss: Keep you pets inside and check your backyard gates before letting them out to prevent pet loss.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun: Sun Safety

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And, while you’re at it, consider the sun and pet loss specifically when out and about:

  • Limit sun exposure: Avoid peak sun hours for walks and playtime.
  • Apply Sunscreen: Apply pet-safe sunscreen (consult your vet for recommendations) to areas with minimal fur cover like ears, noses, and around the eyes.

Most importantly, never leave your pet unattended in a parked car, even for a short time. The temperature inside a car can rise quickly, even on seemingly mild days, leading to heatstroke.

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A happy and healthy pet makes for a happier summer for everyone! That’s why we take extra precautions when walking dogs during warmer months. At Shoreline Happy Paws, we believe our dedication to accident and injury prevention sets us apart. And, our commitment to quality makes our team second to none!

New Shoreline Happy Paws clients can create an account. We will be in touch to further discuss your needs and set you, your family, and your pet(s) up for success. Existing clients may book dog walking, dog hiking, or pet sitting services by logging in to your client profile.

Shoreline Happy Paws serves the following areas of the Connecticut Shoreline:

  • Old Saybrook
  • Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
  • Deep River
  • Chester
  • Westbrook
  • Clinton
  • Old Lyme
  • East Lyme
  • Niantic

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Lyme and Madison
  • Waterford, New London, Groton
  • Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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