When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum. If you can’t hold your hand flat on the ground for 5 seconds, it’s too hot. The image at the top of this post shows a dog wearing Grip-Trex paw wear for dogs who hike, bike, run, or explore the great outdoors with their humans.
Picnics & Outdoor Activities
Have a “no people food” for pets rule, keep pets inside or away from hot grills, etc. Be aware of sun exposure and keep pets hydrated, watch for signs of heat/people distress. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbecues can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Swimming & Boating
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and stay within an arm’s distance while in the pool. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals. Not all dogs can swim (small hindquarters, large chests). If boating, dogs should have a life jacket like everyone else.
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma. Even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape?proof area of your home.
Yard and Landscaping
Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.