While we enjoy interacting with our pets at any time of the year, summertime can provide us with even more wonderful opportunities to engage in fun outdoor activities with our pets. That said, the increase in temperature can bring certain dangers to your pet if you are not adequately prepared. That’s why it’s very important to review some basic pet summer safety tips and consider how best keep your pet safe in the hot summer weather.
Summer Safety Tips for Pets
There are many hot weather tips for pets that owners should be aware of, not the least of which is how to protect your pet from heatstroke. Another, often overlooked, point to consider is your pet’s paws–which while apparently quite hardy, can actually be easily damaged by summer weather. Following are some simple tips for how to protect your pet’s paws this summer:
- Watch for sweaty paws. When a dog becomes overheated they will actually sweat from their paws, which is a sure sign that they need to take a break and cool down. If you notice that your dog has sweaty paws, get them into a cool, shaded area as quickly as possible, ensure they have access to plenty of clean, cool water, and use a wet washcloth to wipe down their face and their paws to speed the cooling process.
- Keep them on cooler ground. If you cannot stand to walk on asphalt for even a few seconds, the truth is that neither can your pet. Some ground surfaces become incredibly hot in the summer sun and heat and can create uncomfortable paw burn. Not only can you try and restrict your pet from walking outdoors during the hottest part of the day, you can also work to keep them on cooler ground, like grassy areas.
- Watch for dangers on the ground. It’s an unfortunate fact that along with the warmer weather of summer comes increased dangers on the ground, such as broken glass and other sharp objects. Carefully watching for these dangers should help you to avoid them, but in the case that your pet receives a small wound in their paw, clean it with an antibacterial wash and bandage it. A larger wound should, of course, be treated by a veterinarian.
- Ensure their nails and the hair between their paw pads are trimmed. This can help to guarantee that your pet is walking properly, and is, therefore, less likely to become injured or hurt their paws.
- Be aware of any limping. Summertime is a perfect time to pick up a prickly burr in between paw pads, which is quite uncomfortable and can cause limping. Something simple like this can usually be easily removed, but any limping should be inspected to determine whether there is noticeable swelling, redness or discharge in the paw. Even if there are no clear signs to indicate why your pet is limping, you should have them checked by the veterinarian if their limping continues.
- Routinely check their paw pads for cracks. Even if you try to help your pet avoid walking on hot ground surfaces, their paws may still become hot and cracked. Some petroleum jelly that is rubbed into their pads once a day can help to combat this.
- Notice excessive paw licking. Dogs, in particular, can lick at their paws for a variety of reasons, including to relieve stress or fight irritation. Grass, weeds, and pollen can act as allergens and actually irritate a dog’s paws, so if you notice excessive paw licking, you may want to wipe their paws with a wet washcloth when they come indoors.
Taking care of your pet’s paws is an important part of keeping them safe, comfortable, and healthy during the hot summer months. If you cannot remember all of the above tips, one easy thing to remember is that whatever would hurt your bare feet, could likewise hurt your pet’s paws. Protect them as best you can and you will both enjoy the summer all the more.
For more important pet summer safety tips and information, contact us today.