Ocean Life! Summer Pet Safety, Florida Style
Sunshine, warmth, and pristine beaches are among the many reasons people flock to our little beach community. We may love the Florida warmth and water, but for pets it can be a different story. Keeping our four-legged family members safe from the dangers associated with water, high temperatures, and humidity should be on the agenda all year long, which is why we’ve compiled our top summer pet safety tips in one place!
The Dangers Are Real
Heatstroke (hyperthermia) is a condition caused when pets have been exposed to high heat and aren’t able to cool down, and it’s a real risk during the summer months. Signs of heatstroke include:
- Excessive panting/drooling
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive thirst
- Loss of coordination
- Red or purple gums
Dehydration is another common problem for pets during warm weather, especially for those who are very active or don’t tend to consume enough water (such as cats). Dehydration can also become an issue for pets with underlying health concerns, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Summer Pet Safety
Making sure your pet stays hydrated at all times is the best way to prevent dehydration and heatstroke. Bring water for your pet everywhere you go, including during transportation in the car, and make sure bowls of fresh water are available at all times. Other tips for keeping pets safe from heat-related dangers:
- Bring pets inside during the warmest parts of the day and keep the temperature comfortable with the use of the A/C or fans.
- Take your daily walks early in the morning or later in the evening, while temperatures are cooler.
- Limit your pet’s outdoor activities on the hottest or most humid days and be especially careful with pets who have health issues, are very young or senior pets, and short-nosed breeds like bulldogs or Persian cats.
- Add ice cubes to your pet’s water bowl or purchase a circulating pet fountain to encourage proper hydration.
- Make sure your pet has access to shade at all times while outside.
Taking your pup to the beach is one of the best parts of summer in Florida, and whether or not Fido heads straight for the water or skips the surf in favor of the sand between his paw pads, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Bring water – Drinking ocean water isn’t healthy, but our dogs don’t seem to realize that. Keep them hydrated by providing access to fresh water at all times.
- Swim, not sink – Not all dogs can swim, so make sure yours can before heading to the water. Every dog should be wearing a life preserver at all times while out on a boat or other watercraft.
- Watch the sun – It’s a little known fact that dogs can suffer from sunburn just like we can. Protect your dog with pet-safe sunscreen and take frequent breaks to rest in the shade.
- Supervise, supervise, supervise – The shoreline can be home to a variety of hidden dangers including sharp rocks, shells, coral pieces, and other hazards. Be alert to any changes in behavior or gait, and check him or her for cuts and scrapes.