Between beach days and summertime adventures, we know you and your family are having “fun in the sun”. However, these warm months may not be enjoyable for one of your family members — your pets!
With a few simple steps, you can help prepare your pets and keep them safe during the hottest months of the year. Awareness is such an important part of prevention, and that’s why Cushman Insurance has put together the following safety tips for your furry friends.
Never Leave Your Pet In A Car
Even when it is a comfortable 70 degrees out, the temperature in a parked car can climb to 90 degrees in ten minutes. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows down is not an option. It doesn’t matter if you are running a quick errand — in a hot car, your pet’s temperature can rise rapidly and they can overheat in a very short amount of time. If you see a distressed pet in a parked car on a warm day, immediately call your local animal control.
Reminder — it is not only not safe, but it is also illegal to leave your pet in a car on a hot day in Massachusetts.
Always Make Sure Your Pet Has Cold, Clean Water
Remember — animals can’t cool themselves as we can! One of the easiest ways to avoid heat injuries in the summer is to make sure your pets have cool, clean water available.
Do Not Force Your Pet Into Water
Some dogs and cats do not like to swim, so do not force them to jump into the water if they aren’t comfortable. If your furry friend enjoys swimming, do not leave them unattended. We also recommend bathing your pet after to remove all sand, mud, and chlorine.
Have Your Pet Checked for Heartworm
Though commonly found in dogs, heartworms can affect cats too. Heartworm disease is more commonly seen in warm weather as it is easily transmitted through insect bites and contact with another infected animal. The disease inhibits proper pumping and functioning of the heart muscle and may cause heart failure if not treated promptly.
Check Your Pet For Fleas and Ticks Daily
It is important to apply flea and tick prevention to your pet monthly. Fleas and ticks can cause anemia, carry other harmful parasites, and carry other diseases such as Lyme Disease. Ask your vet which product addresses the specific needs of your pet, give its individual environment.
Watch Out for Yellow Jackets, Bees, Toads, and Snakes
Bite or sting symptoms are usually swelling of the face or affected areas. Once stung or bitten, your furry friend may have skin that looks wrinkly or bumpy. If not treated immediately, your pet could succumb to the infection.
Your Pet Can Get Sunburn
This is more likely in light fur pets and hairless pets. Just like their owners, sunburned pets can be in pain from sensitive skin and can potentially lead to skin cancer. If you have a pet that meets these criteria, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen to your pet before it is allowed outside.
Keep Their Paws Cool At All Times
Pets heat from the bottom up. Not only can paws burn, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. Limit the time your pet spends roaming the backyard and outdoors, especially on hot asphalt.
Consider Investing In A Life Vest
If you decide to take your pet sailing or boating, be sure it wears a life vest in a bright color to stay visible and afloat in case of an accident. Always keep an eye on your furry companion when near water.
Know the Sign of Heat Stress
A dog’s normal temperature is anywhere between 100 and 103 degrees. Anything higher than that means your pet is in danger, as dogs and cats don’t sweat as we do. Check your pet for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.
If Your Pet is Overheating:
Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area
Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck, and chest
Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes
Take your pet to an emergency pet clinic
By taking a few simple precautions and putting in place some easy prevention tips, Cushman Insurance knows that you and your furry friends can stay safe all summer long. If you have more questions about how to protect your pets this summer, a Cushman Insurance Group agent is here to help. Contact you Cushman Insurance agent today by calling (508) 586-5310.