Summer Do’s and Summer Don’ts


Author: Dr. Clarissa G. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS

It’s already mid-July and summer is in full swing. For this week’s blog, we’ve pulled together some things we feel pet owners should keep in mind as you are enjoying the summer fun. Take a few moments to check them out!

Summer Do’s:
Check the temperature of the water in an outdoor hose before spraying your pet! Dogs have developed severe 3rd degree burns after owners accidentally sprayed their pet with a hose that had been sitting in the sun.
• Find some fun activities for you and your pet to enjoy together. If you will be outdoors, target the cooler times of day. Make sure you keep your pets from overexerting themselves.
• Keep your pets cool and comfortable while outdoor temperatures are high. Unrestricted access to fresh water, shade, fans, air conditioning, and even water activities can all help keep four-legged friends cool.
• If you are planning to travel, think ahead about options for your pet. Many pets do great while boarding, but some do better with a pet sitter at home, or even traveling with their owners.
• Stay on top of preventive medications. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are out in full force!
• Make sure your pet is receiving routine intestinal parasite protection. From contaminated soil in the yard, to ingesting smaller prey that may be infected with parasites, animals are constantly putting themselves at risk for parasite infections!
• If your dog will be in the sun, especially if they have a light or short coat, consider using sunscreen specifically designed for dogs.
• If you are traveling with your pet by plane, start your planning early. Airlines, states, and other countries all have health certificate requirements that will need to be fulfilled. You can learn more about pet health certificates here. And, don’t forget to talk with our doctors if you think your pet will have anxiety while traveling.

Summer Don’ts:
If you have a pet that is scared of thunderstorms, don’t let them suffer through the storms in fear. Instead, talk with our doctors about ways to calm your pet during a storm.
• Don’t ever leave your pet in a vehicle unattended, even for a minute.
• Don’t let your pet’s vaccines lapse – especially rabies! Additionally, if you will be traveling with your pet to a different region of the country, you should check with our doctors to see if there are additional vaccines your pet may need.
• Don’t assume your pet can swim. Pets should always be supervised around water. Life preservers are even an option for poor swimmers!
• Are you traveling to the beach? Don’t let your pet drink the salt water. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and limit how much time your pet spends on the beach. Pets who ingest too much salt water can develop the life-threatening condition of salt poisoning.
• Speaking of the beach and sand, pets should not be allowed to ingest the sand as this can pose a gastrointestinal blockage hazard.
• Don’t let your pet walk on hot surfaces. Think about what the ground would feel like if you were barefoot – if it would burn your feet, it will burn your pet’s. Concrete, sidewalks, and sand can all heat up and cause pad and skin burns.
• Summer is a time for cookouts and fun with friends. If your dog tags along, don’t leave your pet unattended as he or she may ingest food or alcohol that could be harmful.

Most importantly, have a fun and safe summer with your pets!