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The Dog Days of Summer


Now that summer has officially started, you may find yourself spending more time outdoors and planning family vacations. Many of these activities can be enjoyed with your pets in tow, but there are precautions that should be taken. Here are some tips on how you can safely participate in summer activities with your pets.

Hot Weather

Never leave a pet in a car on a hot day. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside your car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes. According to veterinarians, a pet can only withstand a higher body temperature for a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or even death. Cracking windows on a hot day isn’t enough to keep your pet cool. Instead of leaving your pet in the car, leave him at home.

Be safe at the beach. Not only can dogs get overheated in hot cars, but also on steamy summer days. Make sure your pet stays cool outside by always providing shade and cool water. The ASPCA says you should be especially careful with dogs that have short, pushed-in faces (e.g., bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers), puppies, and elderly pets. Experts warn that you should be cautious of pets with light-colored noses, ears, or fur as they are especially vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about choosing a sunscreen.

Adjust your pet’s exercise routine. On very hot days, exercise should be limited to early morning or evening hours. Also, be aware that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws.

Watch for heat stroke. According to the American Red Cross, an overheated dog can suffer brain and organ damage after only 15 minutes. Some signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, bright-red tongue and gums, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and body temperature of 105-110 degrees. If your pet gets overheated, you can give immediate first aid by getting him out of the heat, laying him on cool shaded grass, and pouring cool water over him. You can also give small amounts of water or ice cubes. Call your veterinarian immediately.

Water Safety

Never leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are good swimmers. Make sure to introduce your pet to the water gradually. Keep in mind that supervision is required even for dogs who know how to swim, as they may jump in a pool and not know how to get out. This is especially true if you have a covered pool.

Practice safety on boats. Experts recommend that all pets wear flotation devices on boats. Additionally, dogs should be rinsed off after swimming in the ocean.

Backyard Safety

Be cautious of chemicals in your backyard. People tend to fertilize their lawn during the summer months and certain fertilizers can be fatal if ingested by your pet. In addition, plant food and insecticides can be dangerous if your pet consumes them. Citronella candles may keep away pests, but they contain a chemical that could be harmful if swallowed.

Don’t allow your pet to partake in parties. Just because you’re enjoying a backyard barbecue or party, doesn’t mean your pet should suffer. Human food and drink aren’t always fit for pets to consume. Alcoholic beverages can cause depression, comas, or even death. Certain foods such as avocados, chocolate, garlic, grapes and onions can also be poisonous.

Make sure your windows are secured. The ASPCA states that there is an increase during the summer months in injured animals as a result of “high-rise syndrome,” which occurs when pets fall out of windows and are seriously injured. Since people tend to open windows more in warm weather, make sure to check all your window screens to ensure they are properly secured.

Traveling with Your Pet

If you decide to bring your pet with you when you travel, you will need all the necessary supplies, such as food, treats, toys, bed, cold water, and bowls for the road. Make sure to check out hotels ahead of time to see if they allow pets. Here’s a great website to look for listings: pet friendly hotels

Make sure your pet is healthy. If your pet hasn’t had a health check recently, you may want to make an appointment with your veterinarian before you begin your journey. While you’re there, update your pet on any vaccinations that are needed.

Don’t schedule air flights during peak hours. Peak periods typically mean delays and stopovers, which means your pet will be in a crate for a longer period of time. You should also try to choose early morning or evening flights when the sun isn’t as hot and the temperature in the cargo area will be cooler.

If you follow these tips, you can enjoy the summer months with family and friends along with your pet by your side!

Special Announcement

Help Save Chloe!

A dog named Chloe was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, a treatable cancer, which has spread throughout her body. Chloe’s owner lives in Santa Barbara and is looking for help paying for Chloe’s chemotherapy treatment.

Chloe has already survived being poisoned as a puppy and although she has lost 70% of her vision, she is still eager to play fetch.

If you are willing to donate to help this wonderful dog Chloe, please visit: Chloe



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