With summer here, it's really important to make sure pets are kept safe. July and august tend to get pretty hot – even in the UK with temperatures in towns and cities becoming just a little uncomfortable at times which is especially true for pets. Then of course, it's the time of the year when people love to eat outdoors. Barbecues all over the country are lit which naturally draws the attention of pets with all those lovely aromas wafting through the air.. It's a time when silly accidents may well happen and this includes pets eating things they should not and the risk of them getting burned by hot grills and cooking utensils.
If you are having a barbecue, you need to make sure everyone knows that your dog and/or cat, is not allowed to eat anything that comes off a "human" plate and this includes any scraps or leftovers. You also need to make sure they are safely away from cooking areas because the temptation to put their noses and paws too close to a griddle might end in disaster.
You also need to put lots of small tables around so that guests can put their drinks on them and not on the ground which might tempt your pooch to take a drink out of them and again, this could end up being a real disaster especially if they accidentally ingest some strong alcohol.
You might find it easier to shut your dog or other pets in the house where they would not only be safer when you have friends over for a barbecue, but they would be cooler too.
If you own a dog that boasts a heavier and thicker coat, think about having them either clipped or stripped - depending on their breed that is. Making sure all their winter coat has been shed means they will be a lot more comfortable during the hotter summer months and a coat that's well groomed means air would be able to circulate that much better through it which allows heat transfer to happen more effectively out of their bodies.
Dogs and cats may have hair all over their faces and bodies, but they can still suffer from sunburn which is why you have to be careful they don't spend too much time outside in the hot sun. If your pet has pink skin, they are light coloured or they have thinner coats, they are more susceptible to getting sunburnt. The areas to keep a close eye on are their noses and ears as well as any other areas of exposed skin. To prevent sunburn, you should use a specifically formulated pet sun block on all these areas.
You should never use any sort of sun block that contains either zinc oxide or salicylates which are toxic to pets if ingested. You should apply the sunblock at least thirty minutes before your pet goes out in strong sunshine. Naturally, the safest way to ensure a pet doesn't get sunburnt, is to make sure they stay in the shade – but this is not always possible or as much fun because pets too enjoy the good weather when it finally arrives so applying a sunblock is a must if they spend any time in the garden.
You may also find it's a lot easier to change your "walkies" timetable during the hotter weather so that you avoid going out with your pooch at the hottest times of the day. Early mornings and then late afternoons are typically cooler so these are great times to go out for nice long walks with your four-legged friend.
The other thing you need to watch out for are biting insects and bugs. Some dogs have a habit of chasing and grabbing bumble bees and other stinging insects. Dogs may just get stung as they root around in the undergrowth and this could be on their noses or they might get stung on their paws. Although insect stings are not a serious health issue to dogs, you should however, keep an eye on them. If you notice any sort of swelling in and around their mouths or they are experiencing difficulty breathing, a quick trip to the vet might be order so they can remove the sting and then neutralise the effect of it.
The other thing to watch out for during the warmer months which can make life extremely uncomfortable for pets, are external parasites namely fleas and mites.
There are some very effective treatments which are specifically formulated for use on all species of pets that people like to share their homes and lives with. Making sure a pet's treatment is up to date means making their lives a lot more comfortable when the weather is hot and avoids the risk of your home being infested with pesky biting bugs too!
Making sure pets are safe during the hotter summer months means a little proactive thinking. It's really important to make sure they don't spend too much time in the sun and ideally, you should take dogs out for their walks early in the morning and then later in the day when they sun is lower in the sky. If you regularly have friends over for a barbecue, you need to make sure everyone knows that any pets you own are not allowed to be fed any "human" food, no matter how tempting it is to offer them something because of their appealing eyes. Drinks too need to be kept out of the reach of pets, so no putting any glasses or bottles on the ground.