Protecting and caring for your furry family is a year-round obligation. But summertime presents additional dangers that we need to address to keep our pets safe and happy.
IT’S HOT! Keep your pets and humans cool!
Remember — your pet is wearing a fur coat! And, unlike us, they cannot perspire to cool themselves down.
- Do not take pets in the car right now. Even with the windows open, IT’S TOO HOT!
- If you see a dog in a hot car, note the location, type and colour of car and license plate number, then call your local police. (DO NOT break a car’s window — that can harm the animal and yourself.)
- Take it easy on exercise and exertion — you AND your pets.
- Drink lots of water (leave some out for the wildlife, too, and maybe put a bowl on the sidewalk for passing neighbourhood pets)
- If you think your (or another) pet is experiencing heat stroke (they are panting excessively — or suddenly STOP panting, among other symptoms), wet them with water (do not use ice; it constricts blood flow), fan them, and get them to the veterinarian ASAP.
Safety Around Water
Not all breeds of dog are swimmers!
Know your dog and their abilities around water. Those with short snouts, like pugs and some bulldogs, are not built for aquatic sports. Keep them on dry land!
Do not throw a dog into a body of water. Again, not all breeds are swimmers – and, even if they are, unexpected acts like this could disorient and traumatize them.
Don’t leave your pets unattended around water. If you have a swimming pool, it should be fenced (you know that!) and we have heard far too many stories of pets falling or jumping in a pool and not finding their way out.
Teach your dog how to use the steps. Practice getting in and out safely!
Swimming can be a great exercise in summertime because water is cooler than the ambient air. But don’t let it fool you: Swimming is tough exercise. It’s tiring. If a dog is tired, they are more susceptible to drowning, no matter how experienced they are in the water.
Buy a doggie life vest and consider completing a pet CPR class.
Discourage your dog from drinking swimming water. Pools are chlorinated and contain other chemicals that are harmful to your pet. The ocean is salty, while rivers and lakes contain parasites and algae. Keep fresh water for your pet when they are taking a break from swimming.
Rinse your dog off with fresh water after swimming to rinse off chlorine or salt water, which can dry their skin. Dry their ears, too, to discourage infection.
Have fun out there! Summer can be the best time of the year. Let’s make happy memories!