Just as it’s important to practice proper summer safety ourselves, we need to do the same for our pets during the warmer months. Our pets rely on us for care, so it’s our job to know the best ways to protect them from the risks of summer, including high temperatures, dehydration, and drowning.
Water and Swimming Safety
Let’s start with the easy stuff: your pet needs cool and clean water easily available at all times. They’ll drink more and more frequently during the summer due to the heat, so change their water often.
When it comes to recreational water, not all dogs are good swimmers or even enjoy being in the water. Get them acclimated to water gradually, never force them into the water if they are reluctant, and always supervise your pet around bodies of water. On boats, they should have their own flotation devices, just like everyone else on board. Keep them from drinking chemical-filled pool water, as well.
After getting out of the water, bathe and rinse your pet to get chlorine, salt, sand, mud, and other contaminants out of their fur and off of their skin.
Cars plus summer equals an easy recipe for disaster. Even with the windows down and shaded parking, hot cars can cause pets to overheat and even die in minutes. Never, ever leave them in the car, no matter how short the errand is, and know the signs of heat stroke in dogs and cats.
Additionally, don’t let your pet hang out of a moving car, as they could jump out or get injured from passing by things like signs or tree branches.
Heartworm disease is common along the Mississippi River and its branches, which puts Minnesota pets in the crosshairs. While more common in dogs, heartworm affects cats, too, affecting the proper functioning of your pet’s heart an even causing heart failure if left untreated.
The best way to treat heartworm is preventative medicine, so get them checked out before starting them on anything. Even if your pet is already on prevention meds, annual testing is still a good idea.
The hot tar or asphalt can cause serious harm to your pet’s paw pads, especially if they’re young. If it’s too hot to leave your hand touching the ground for 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your pup, and you’ll need to take measure to protect their paws.
The best solution is to simply walk your pet at a cooler time of day—early morning, when the asphalt hasn’t heated up, or late evening, when it’s had time to cool down. You can try dog shoes or booties, though some pets aren’t willing to wear or walk in them. Paw wax can also offer temporary protection against heat and soothe cracked pads.
Check your pet’s paws for damage often, and know the signs of paw pain.
Need supplies to get your pets prepped for the Minnesota summer? Look no further than Mimbach Fleet. With tops brands, like Purina and Victor, we carry everything you need to get your pets ready to for some (safe) fun in the sun.