How to Safely Care for Pets in Summer Heat

Dog under umbrella

About half the states in the US now have laws that make it illegal to leave your pets unattended in vehicles, especially during summer. Not only can your pet get up to mischief in your absence, but the heat can also quickly escalate, leading to medical emergencies. Even if it seems warm outside, the interior of a vehicle can quickly add another ten degrees in ten minutes. If you’re detained in a store, the vehicle can quickly soar to 130 degrees in as little as 30 minutes.

Here’s how to keep your dog or cat adventure safe in the summer heat.

Bring Your Pet with You

Many stores that only allow service animals will make an exception in the summer. If you feel uncomfortable tying your pet outside a store or business, bring them inside with you. It shouldn’t be a problem if your cat or small dog is inside its own carrier. If in doubt, ask inside the store if you can bring a leashed dog inside. You may wish to keep a list of businesses that do allow all types of pets year round and give your business to them instead.

Store Water for You & Your Pet

Just like you keep a water bottle or thermos handy for you and your kids, bring an extra one for your pet. A thermos is better, as it will keep the water cool. You can add in some ice cubes. Don’t forget to bring a sturdy bowl, one that won’t tip over easily if your car is on the road.

Bring a Pet-Safe Sunscreen

Pets can get skin cancer just like humans can. Don’t use human sunscreen on your pet, as zinc oxide is toxic for pets. You can buy pet-safe sunscreen for dogs or cats. They come in spray bottles so you can easily spray your pet’s coat rather than have to rub in a cream. Be sure to apply it to their sensitive regions: ears, nose, face, paws, and anywhere where they have short fur or hair.

Bring an Umbrella

If you’re headed to the beach, your pet can suffer from heat and sunshine. Bring a summer umbrella or a pet tent so your pet can have a spot to retreat from the sun and heat. If you have a larger breed of dog, see if they’ll tolerate a small doggie hat.

Let Your Pet Run in the Water

Whether you’re at a dog-friendly water park, or at the beach or ocean, let your pet run into the water. This will help to cool them off. Even some cats (ensure they’re on a harness) love playing in the water too. If your dog seems hesitant, hop in the water first, then call to them. They’ll get excited and want to join you.

Just like you wouldn’t leave your baby or young kids in the car, you should never leave your pets in the vehicle either. Simple Puppy hopes that you share this requirement with a pet sitter before hiring them.

Featured image from Unsplash