With the heat already upon us, summer safety for people and pets is critical.  This time of year people and their pets enjoy outdoor activities together.  It is critical for pet owners to keep in mind the needs and unique considerations that our furry friends require.

Extreme Heat and Hot cars.

Dogs can't sweat, they pant.  Heat stroke can cause severe brain damage. Signs of overheating can include rapid raspy panting, drooling, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, collapse and seizures.

Dogs with short noses are even more susceptible to heat stroke.

Keep them well hydrated and provide plenty of shade.  They must have access to clean, fresh and cool water. In winter or summer shelter for your pet is vital.

Do not walk your pet during the heat of the day, feel the pavement.  If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them.  Hot pavement will burn their paws.  Consider some foot-ware specially made for pets like traction socks.

Fur helps provide protection, but pet friendly sunscreen is suggested for the ears, snout and belly.

Hot cars are a death-box for pets.  According to the American Safety Council, A cars temperature even with the windows down can increase 40 degrees in one hour.  80 percent of the increase is within the first 30 minutes.  On a 78 degree day, the temperature can soar between 100-120 degrees in

just minutes.  On a  90 degree day it jumps up to 160 degrees in less then ten minutes.  Heat stroke can occur within minutes. (Please do not leave pets or children in your car for any length of time!)

Traveling

with your Pet

Dogs get lost more frequently in the summer, please travel safely with your pet and keep them on a leash.  It only takes one distraction to send Fido running.

According to the Pet Safety auto blog some suggestions include:

 -Map your route for rest stops that are pet friendly to stretch your legs along with these tips. -Carry plenty of food and water in a spill-proof, sealed container along with clean dishes

-To reduce the risk of them becoming car sick, try and feed them at least an hour before departure times

-If your animal does have a problem with motion sickness, consult with your veterinarian about possible remedies like ginger capsules available at many health food stores

-Make sure your car’s heating and air conditioning are both operating properly and use them while driving according to the outdoor temperature

Be sure you provide shade in the area where your pet will be traveling, even in the winter months, itS can be uncomfortable to ride in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Small pets should travel in pet safe kennels, large dogs should travel with a pet harness that is attached to a safety belt.  Unrestrained animals put the pet and people at risk.  They can distract the driver or get hurt worse in an accident.  Unsecured pets can delay emergency workers from helping victims of an accident or even cause a secondary collision.

Water, fireworks and pests

Drownings are another risk for pets this time of year.  Short breeds need access to a pool ramp, life jackets can also be purchased for your dog.

Flea and tick control is critical during summer months.  Flea and tick control can be purchased at a vet, online or in many feed stores.  Use DEET-free repellent.

More pets go missing on July fourth than any other time of year.  Fireworks and thunderstorms cause one in five pets to go missing because they are loud and frighten the animal.  Keep your animal in a safe quiet place during fireworks shows.  If your animal is extremely frightened talk to your vet about medication.

Store pool chemicals in a locked area, and when going to the beach watch excessive saltwater intake. Bring a fresh bottle of water for your pet to drink.  Vomiting and seizures can occur from them drinking the water to hydrate.

Barbecues are fun for the whole family.  Avoid giving toxic foods to your pet such as chocolate, avocados, onions and grapes.  Never give a dog alcoholic beverages.

Including the family pet in the fun is enjoyable for your dog.  Practice these safety tips to help ensure everyone has a great time.