Central PA's LGBT News Source
From making plans to buying new clothes to filling your time with exhilarating (or relaxing) hobbies, gearing up for summer can be a fun and exciting exercise. With hotter months ahead, don’t forget that your pets need certain preparation in advance of summer also.
With increased dangers like infectious bugs, poisonous plants and more time around water, plus the threat of heat itself, summer is an important time to make sure your pets are ready. Start with a few simple tips that can help ensure safety throughout the summer months.
Keep them hydrated
Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl both inside and outside is critical during summertime. While you’re on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container.
Protect against bugs
Ticks and other pesky bugs can cause headacheswhen the weather warms and you and your furry friends spend more timeoutside. Help keep those bugs away with preventative treatments, and be sure to check your pets closely for ticks after you’ve spent time outdoors.
One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and help prevent matting and summertime skin irritation is regular grooming. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy top coat.
Provide skin protection
Just like humans, dogs can experience sunburnand even skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply a sunscreen where hair is thin and skin lacks pigment (nose, ears and sensitive areas) every time your dog is outside.
Clean the yard
Before letting dogs, cats or other pets out into the yard to play, check for hazards that can be removed or prevented. Search the yard for poisonous plants, ensure that fences are sturdy and whole, watch the area for possible predators if you own smaller pets and monitor your pet’s outdoor activity.
When the temperature is just right, many people love to throw open doors and windows to allow fresh air to rush through screen doors. However, those screens should be checked to ensure that pets can’t push them out or squeeze through a small hole.
Whether your pets play outside often or not, it’s a smart investment to add an identification tag to their collars. If they were to ever make a dash for an open gate or find a way outside without attention, an ID can help significantly increase the chances they are returned home safely.
Teach them to swim
Many people increase their time around water dur-Almost every community has at least one animal sheling the summer, whether it’s a neighborhood pool, a local pond or a lake. If you plan to bring along a pet, make sure that he or she is comfortable around water and able to swim before partaking in an activity that could potentially frighten your pet.
Make a vacation checklist
Before hitting the road for a fun family getaway, add important pet items to your checklist. Remember that while on a trip, your pet will need food and water, of course, but also may require specific bedding, toys, treats and more.
Summer can provide a great opportunity to spend ample time bonding with pets, but preparing in advance for some of the pitfalls of all of the excitement can ensure that your pet enjoys it just as much as you do.