Summer Safety for Pets in St. Paul
Summer is many people’s favorite time of year, and the same is true for our pets! Dogs can enjoy more outdoor time for their walks and often go on summer adventures with the family, while our indoor cats love all the sun-bathing that comes with the season. Yet this pleasant and enjoyable season has its dangers as well. Our veterinarian wants you to spend as much quality time with your pet outdoors as possible, so take these tips into consideration to maximize your summer fun!
Heat and Severe Weather Safety
Heat affects our pets more than it affects us. This is due to their fur coats as well as their inability to sweat as we do. Furthermore, severe weather such as thunderstorms can spook our pets into bolting and risking injury and encounters with wild animals on top of being lost. These tips will help your pet stay calm, cool, and collected:
Keep outdoor activity to a minimum on especially hot days. Take your daily walks in the early morning or later in the evening when the heat of the day isn’t at its peak.
Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even on a mild 70-degree day, the temperature inside the car can reach dangerous levels in mere minutes. Don’t risk it!
If your pet is outdoors in the heat for any length of time, make sure they have fresh, cool water to drink and a shady place to lie down and rest when they need it.
If a storm is in the forecast, make sure to bring your pet indoors well ahead of time. Dogs and cats are far more in-tune with the weather than we are, and any anxiety could cause them to try to escape. If your pet is particularly anxious about storms, talk to your veterinarian about possible anti-anxiety medication to help them cope.
While our veterinarians highly recommend you keep up parasite prevention all year long, the summer months are the most important. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes (which carry heartworms) are out in force, causing your pet annoyance and even transmitting disease. Don’t give these pesky critters a chance to feed off your pet—give your pet the protection they need with parasite preventatives! If your pet is currently unprotected, contact our animal hospital to learn about your cat or dog’s options.
River and Lake Safety
In the beautiful St. Paul area, there are many lakes and of course the Mississippi River for us all to enjoy. Swimming and boating with your pet are great ways to enjoy the warm summer days, but your pet’s safety could be on the line. Here are some tips to help you keep them safe:
Don’t let your pet swim in stagnant water. Small bodies of stagnant water are a breeding ground for bacteria, so keep your pet out of ponds and other small bodies of water.
Stay up-to-date with blue-green algae warnings and keep an eye out for this yourself. This microorganism can be fatal to your dog.
Get a lifejacket for an added level of safety. During any boating adventure, your pet should have a lifejacket like the rest of your passengers. A lifejacket can even help with a regular day of swimming, especially for pets who are unsure swimmers.
Bring fresh water to drink and deter your dog from drinking river or lake water. Bacteria and parasites such as giardia could be ingested from lake or river water.
Clean out your dog’s ears and rinse their coat after every swim. Water in the ears is a sure way to get an ear infection. Additionally, rinse off your pet’s coat and dry them thoroughly to prevent skin irritation or other issues.