Beat the Heat: Essential Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Pet Healthy this Summer

Written by: Care Yummers

|

Summer can be a fun and enjoyable time for pets. However, it's essential to remember that the same summer sun that brings warmth and fun can also bring hazards to our pets. Just like humans, dogs and cats can suffer from heat-related illnesses like heatstroke, dehydration, and sunburn. By understanding the dangers of summer and preparing ahead of time, you can have an amazing summer with your pet. While you plan ahead, don’t forget to check out our blog on fun ways you can include your pet in your summer adventures.

At Yummers, we’re passionate about pet wellness and happiness. From feeding them crave-worthy meal mix-ins to making unforgettable summer memories together, we’re here to help make this summer the best one yet. By learning about how you can keep them safe, you can help them make the most of the time by your side.

Understanding the Dangers of Summer for Pets

It’s important to understand the risks that the summer season can bring to our pets. The summer heat alone can cause a variety of serious health issues, including dehydration, burnt paws, overheating, and even heatstroke. These conditions can be incredibly dangerous, and in some cases, life-threatening.

The hot weather is not the only concern during summertime. Other dangers can come from the change in lifestyle and activities that often accompany the warmer summer months. Increased outdoor activities can expose pets to risks like insect bites, toxic plants, and even encounters with other animals.

Additionally, summer is a time when many families travel or host parties, which can lead to stress or anxiety for pets. Loud noises from fireworks and parades can frighten pets, potentially leading to runaways or aggressive behaviors. Understanding these dangers is the first step toward ensuring summer pet safety.

If your dog or cat struggles with anxiety, try adding our calming mix-in to their meal so they stay at ease during times of stress. We’ve crafted this mix-in with flavors pets love plus the nutrients they need to stay calm. If you like to make treats at home, be sure to check out our DIY Calming Blueberry Bites recipe made with our calming mix-in exclusively sold at Petco that will help your pet feel their best all summer long.

Cat playing in a sprinkler in the grass during the summer

Top 9 Summer Pet Safety Tips

1. Understanding the Impact of Heat

Heat affects our pets differently than it affects us. As an example, dogs manage heat by panting and releasing sweat from their paws. However, when humidity levels are high, this cooling mechanism becomes less effective, putting your pup at risk of overheating. It's worth noting that certain breeds, particularly those with short snouts, may struggle more with the heat due to their restricted airways.

2. Recognizing Heat-Related Illnesses

Being able to identify the signs of heat-related illnesses in your pets is crucial. If your pet exhibits symptoms such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, they might be experiencing heatstroke. Other signs may include glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Should your pet display any of these signs, it's crucial to go to the vet immediately.

3. Outdoor Safety

While the outdoors can be a fantastic playground for your pet during summer, certain precautions must be taken. Always ensure your pet has access to shade and fresh, cool water. Make sure to avoid midday walks or exercise when the heat is at its peak. Instead, opt for cooler times of the day, such as early morning and late evening. While your pet spends time outside, consider treating them to a DIY recipe made with Yummers Chicken Mix-In and other craveable ingredients that help make every day together extra special.

4. Avoiding Hot Surfaces

Hot surfaces, particularly asphalt, can be extremely harmful to your pet's paws. To prevent burns or discomfort, encourage your pet to walk on grass whenever possible. If grass isn't available, consider using protective pet footwear so their paws stay safe from the heat.

5. Ensuring Proper Hydration

Hydration plays a pivotal role in your pet's health, particularly during the summer months. Not only does it prevent dehydration, but it also aids in cooling down your pet. Always ensure that your pet has access to fresh, clean water. Adding ice cubes to the water can also help keep it cool for longer periods. When it’s mealtime, don’t forget to mix in some Yummers to add more flavor, variety, and nutrients to every bite!

6. Keeping Cool Indoors

While the outdoors poses its own set of challenges during summer, it's also essential to ensure your pet stays cool indoors. If you're leaving your pet at home, provide different temperature zones for their comfort. Using fans, air conditioners, and cooling mats can help maintain a comfortable temperature for your pet indoors.

It’s also important to be mindful of potentially toxic substances. Many common summer items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and certain plants can be toxic to pets if they are ingested. Keep these items out of your pet's reach by putting them high up on shelves or in areas your pet does not have access to.

Lastly, create a safe space for your pet. This can be particularly helpful during noisy events like fireworks or parties. A safe space can be a quiet room stocked with your pet's favorite toys, treats (like Yummers), and a comfortable bed.

Cocker Spaniel laying on a couch in front of a fan

7. Importance of Regular Vet Checkups

Regular visits to the vet are essential for maintaining your pet's health, especially during the warmer months. These visits can help ensure your pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations and free from parasites like fleas and ticks, which are more common in warm weather. Discuss potential risks that warm weather might pose to your pet, especially if you're considering any travel plans. Your vet can also provide recommendations for managing your pet's weight and dietary needs during the summer.

8. Diet and Nutrition

Summer barbecues can be a tempting treat for your pets. However, it's important to be aware that certain foods can be harmful to them. Avoid giving your pet foods such as grapes, onions, chocolate, and anything containing artificial sweeteners, as these can cause severe digestive ailments. Stick to pet-friendly treats and maintain their regular diet by adding in some Yummers so they have the best meal — and best life — they deserve.

9. Emergency Preparedness

Despite our best efforts, emergencies can still occur. It's crucial to be prepared for such situations. Keeping an emergency kit with essential supplies, such as a pet first aid kit and important contact information, can be life-saving in a crisis. Also, consider taking a pet first aid course or downloading a pet first aid app to make sure you’re prepared to handle any unexpected surprises.

While the summer season can bring a host of enjoyable experiences for you and your pet, it's crucial to prioritize their safety. By planning ahead, staying vigilant, and treating your pet to their favorite Yummers recipe, you can help them enjoy a safe, comfortable, and amazing summer by your side.