By Christine A. Bournias
Have Fun. Pack For Safety.
If you think you’re excited to get out and enjoy the sunshine, you can only imagine how your pet feels. But, before you dash out the door, remember safety first when it comes to you and your family’s best furry friends.
While you venture out with your pets this summer, keep your pet’s well-being as your number one priority. Health, wellness, and safety are on the top of the list when it comes to any new or outdoor adventures.
As you pack up and get ready to take exciting adventures with your pets, be sure to pack common sense and a few reliable measures with you.
Your Pet’s Safety. Your Priority.
Pet Parents have a responsibility to care for and monitor their pets. Safety comes to mind, particularly with adventurous and curious pets of all kinds.
Unexplored terrain on rugged trails have different levels of elevation and dangerous interruptions. With unpredictable peaks, valleys, sticks, and stones on your route, your pet is at more risk of getting hurt.
Animals have a way of finding things to get into when you’re not looking. As your pet discovers new trails, scents, and scenery, have lots of fun—but take precautions.
Sharp objects buried in a sand castle while you frolic together by the lake, can quickly turn a fun day at the beach to a long day at the Veterinarian’s office.
While you can’t predict what might be thrown in your path, you can carry with you a few emergency essentials and basic safety knowledge in the event of an unpredictable snake bite, bee sting, or unfortunate slip and fall. As you head out the door, consider packing a pet first aid kit.
4 Safety Tips For Your Pet This Summer
1. Monitor Your Pet
Some pets are at more risk based on their activity level—or occupation. Military, hunting, herding, or field animals are at higher risk for injury than pets that prefer sitting on their owner’s laps. Regardless, accidents can happen. It’s not only service or canine officers that get injured.
If you own a pet, you are responsible for their safety, health, and well-being. It only takes a second for an emergency to occur. Even the best dogs—or cats—can get into mischief.
DID YOU KNOW?
An accident can happen anywhere. Best Friends Pet Hotel has trained Pet Professionals on staff who know what to do and who to call in case of emergency. Your pet is family, and reputable pet establishments take every needed precaution to ensure that your pet is safe at Camp, while cared for in 1:1 Individual care, in puppy playgroups, and/or all overnight stays.
An Average Fido Can Get Into Mischief
The risk of pet accidentals also depends on the part of the country that you’re in and what your pets are exposed to. Do you have many different kinds of pets in the same household? Are they courageous and curious? Are they more active than the average fluff muffin? Are they enrolled in agility? Do they compete in rally sports? Are they jumpers? Do they climb fences? Are they exposed to heavy wooded or prevalent insect areas? Do they spend most of their time outdoors? Do they frequent pet care facilities?
Summer = Holiday Pet Safety
Please keep a close eye on your pets, during the summer months—and always.
The fourth of July is a time to celebrate with picnics, family gatherings, and firework displays.
Fireworks can be dangerous and traumatic for pets. Some pets are skittish, hiding under tables or jumping into the arms of their Pet Parents. However, many animals get so frightened by fireworks that they often pull away and get loose.
DID YOU KNOW?
Due to loud fireworks, many pets get spooked and escape. In efforts to seek refuge and escape, many pets dart across the street and get hit by a car. Sadly, shelters across the United States are flooded during the summer months with preventable intakes. In fact, July is one of the busiest months for animal control.
To prevent deadly accidents, always look after your furry family members, especially during these summertime holidays.
If your pets stay with you for holiday festivities, know how to keep them safe. And if you’re travelling out of town during the summer, consider contacting an expert boarding facility or professional Pet Sitter.
Take Safety Precautions:
- Keep identification tags with up-to-date information on your cats and dogs at all times.
- Consider having a conversation with your Veterinarian about microchipping your pets. The microchip procedure can improve your chances of getting your pets back if they are lost. If your pets are currently microchipped, confirm with the microchip company that you have up-to-date microchip contact information and registry in place.
- Professional behavioral therapy can help desensitize your pet and reduce risk of danger. If your pet needs medication, consult with your Veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist for alternate safety options.
- Photographs are great for fun grooming contests, but they’re important for your pet’s safety as well. Take a recent photo of all your pets in the event they get lost.
- Keep your environment secure with escape-proof rooms or crates.
- Keep horses and livestock in fenced areas and far away from loud noises. Horses should wear breakaway halters with your correct contact information.
- Remind your guests that you have pets that you care about. Place caution notification notes on exit doors and gates for your guests to remain vigilant.
- Keep sparklers, charcoal, and food skewers away from curious pets.
- Don’t let your pets get near your barbecue grill while in use or if it’s still hot.
- After any summer holiday celebrations, check your yard for harmful explosives or debris before allowing pets outside to play. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, harmful debris can make its way into your yard.
Leave your pets at a safe place during firework displays, parades or other festive gatherings.
Emergencies can strike at any time and ‘snout to tail’ prevention, health, and wellness is critical. Be prepared by keeping a comprehensive pet first-aid kit, as well as human healthcare supplies in your luggage.
“35 years as a Paramedic, I’ve been confronted with about every human emergency medical situation possible. I was approached by members of our local Police K9 Unit Officers, expressing their interest in proper emergency K9 medic options for their police dogs in the event of a serious medical or traumatic situation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training for our four-legged Officer is in great demand. Our services help train our Police Officers in pet first aid and emergency care.” —Mike Burket, EMTP/K9 Medic/Instructor Pet Medics 911
Learn how to detect pet vitals and determine injury situations that require immediate veterinary care. Within critical seconds you’ll need to know whether or not to move your pet and/or how to restrain them if needed. At the very least, you need to know what to look for so you can seek immediate help.
Common Medical Conditions + Emergencies:
- Extreme Temperatures
- Food and Allergies
- Injuries (hot or cold, extreme or minor; sprains, tendons, ligaments, bones)
- Insect Bites Or Stings
- Poisonous Plants or Substances
- Raw or Rough Paw Pads
- Snake Bites
Be ready to respond in the unfortunate event of an emergency. Keeping an essential basic first aid or medical emergency kit on hand is a smart idea.
Smart Pet Investments:
- Pet First Aid Kits: Learn how to use your kit in the event of an emergency.
- Pet first aid certification of completion: Knowledge is power.
- Pet insurance: Get the policy that’s right for your pets. Evaluate their age and current health pre-conditions. A puppy may need more comprehensive wellness exams, but your senior dog may be faced with pre-existing conditions that you need to review before an incident occurs.
This list will help you assemble a general first-aid kit for a pet medical emergency or health issue. Include important paperwork, including a copy of your pet’s medical records, vaccination records, and emergency phone numbers too.
Comprehensive First Aid Kit Contents:
- Adhesive Wrap Rolls (1″ and 3” width)
- Antibiotic Cream
- Bite/Sting Relief Pads
- Gauze Sponges (Large & Small)
- Surgical Gloves
- Syringe (10cc)
- Peroxide Contact Solution
- Providone-Iodine (Betadine) Topical Solution
- Spare Collar and Leash
- Triangular Bandage
“Seconds count when it comes to saving a life. Basic practical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid preparation is a must. Summertime safety includes both humans and your four-legged furry friend. In the event of a pet emergency, studies show that your dog has a better chance of surviving with general canine CPR, choking, and basic first aid knowledge.” —Amanda Zimmerman, EMT-P/AHA/Red Cross/ASHI Certified Instructor, Owner/Founder Save 1 CPR
2. Supply Good Nutrition and Hydration
Provide your pets with healthy fuel and proper nutrition. Follow good hygiene practices and safe food handling to protect your family pets. Holiday parties and picnics usually include human food goodies, but avoid the urge to feed your pets people food or table scraps. Keep your pet(s) away from common toxic foods, unknown food allergies, or potential pet danger.
“I never knew that lilies and tulips were poisonous to pets. My neighbor has a full flower tray on their deck. They sure are pretty to look at, but I steer my curious cats and rambunctious dog far away.” — Susan D .
Fill up your pet’s dog days of summer with lots of playtime, frequent rest breaks, and proper hydration.
Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) can affect your pet’s ability to keep their body’s internal core temperature regulated, particularly in the warm summer (or frigid winter) months. Refreshing water keeps your pet hydrated and replenished.
Don’t wait until your pet is hot and thirsty to drink water. While drinking* times can be monitored much like feeding times, cool, fresh water will benefit your dog’s health during every season.
*Always be sure to clean out their feeding bowls daily. If you have a puppy and excess urination is an issue, try keeping them on a regular drink and dinner schedule or feed ice chips to keep them cool and hydrated.
3. Provide Activity, Mental Stimulation + Rest
You’ll jump through hoops to keep your dog happy and active. However, like children, your pets need frequent breaks from strenuous activities, especially in the heat. Designate a safe resting spot and adequate resting times. Don’t overload your pet in efforts to keep busy. Ten minutes of moderate exercise and mindful games and interactive tricks will suffice.
“Healthy rest is good for all animals, particularly our hard-working agility, heriding, rally or competing performers. Performance and show dogs need to be on their game, but it’s important to have a healthy balance of work and rest.” — Terry C., Canine Handler, Trainer
4. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Too much sun, heat, and humidity are dangerous for pets.
Keep your pets indoors when it’s hot. Period. Don’t leave them outside for extended periods of warm weather. Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion or overheating. Make sure your pet has access to shady spots to relax.
Pets + Automotives
Going on a road trip? Running errands?
Never leave your pet in your vehicle when it’s hot (or cold) outside. Remember, our bodies respond quite differently to extreme temperatures than our furry counterparts.
DID YOU KNOW?
With an outside temperature of only 70 degrees, a closed vehicle can heat up to 89 degrees in 10 minutes
A window opened a crack isn’t going to keep your pet safe.
A short time in a locked car is dangerous to pets—and children. Vehicle interiors heat up fast. The temperature in your vehicle increases in minutes. Even if you think that it’s only going to take you a few minutes to run in for an errand, that’s all the time it takes for your pet to get overheated.
If it’s slightly too warm for you, it’s way too hot for your pets. If it’s below zero wind chills, it’s too cold for animals.
When in doubt, leave your pal at home.
According to Jan Null, CCM: Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University, the temperature in your vehicle increases rapidly. Take a look:
Resource: Trupanion; Medical Insurance for your pet
Many domestic pets aren’t accustomed to extreme temperatures. In these severe weather conditions, keep your pets safe at home, or seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel to watch your pets while you’re out and about. Designated pet care time can be convenient for both long bouts of time or quick errands.
5. Seek A Safe Place For Pets
As you come out of shelter in place restrictions and when you’re ready to venture out for fun this summer, take note of pet safety measures at your Pet Hotel:
- 1:1 Individual Pet Care Options
- Camp Checklist
- Current CDC animal guidelines
- Disinfected Equipment & Facilities
- Grooming Safety
- Pet Assessment Interviews
- Safe Playtime
- Staff Environment Inspections
Photo Credit: Breanna Elizabeth, Best Friends Pet Hotel (Willow Grove)
Discover pet care offerings that provide you the opportunity to design your pet’s own stay. Discover local Pet Professionals that know pet behavior and will assist you in finding the ideal play and/or stay environment for ALL your furry family members.
Owner Of A Pug, Parrot, Or Pocket Pig?
Do you have a multi-pet family? Cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds? There are essential Pet Professionals that can help you care for them. Look for a place that caters to many different kinds of pets—dogs, cats, and pocket pets.
If you own a dog, Doggy Day Camp may be a nice outlet for your dog. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages enjoy size, temperament, and carefully monitored playtime with dog pals. Themed parties are loads of fun and can benefit your dog’s mental well-being, allowing for safe exercise.
Pack Your Bags For Fun. Sunshine & Safety!
Keeping your pet safe is a Pet Parent’s top priority and responsibility.
If you can’t watch them yourself during a holiday firework display, seek out a pet facility that has trained Pet Professionals to watch your pet.
Best Friends Pet Hotel is here to help keep your pet safe. Every pet guest is treated with care with monitored play yards and expert trained staff. Reading books to pets, playing catch, catching bubbles, splashing in pools, or hide and seek games are just some of the activities on the agenda.
Plan for your pets to play and expect safety. Prepare your pet’s vaccinations and book an appointment for an interview today.
Ready to keep your pet safe this summer? VISIT: Best Friends Pet Hotel or call your local center.
About The Author:
Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.