Operation Kindness Blog

Keep your pets safe in the summer heat

Summer pet safety

Summer may seem like an ideal time to get pets outdoors, but rising temperatures in Texas this time of year can pose serious risks. North Texas animal welfare non-profit Operation Kindness has tips to keep pets cool, hydrated and mentally stimulated during the summer months.

“At Operation Kindness, we believe that keeping pets safe and engaged during the summer is essential for their well-being,” said Operation Kindness CEO Ed Jamison. “By following these tips and incorporating fun enrichment activities, pet owners can ensure their animals enjoy a happy and healthy summer.”

Heat Protection

Shade and Shelter: Providing shaded areas and never leaving pets in parked cars helps prevent overheating.

Avoid Hot Pavement: Walking pets in the early morning or late evening helps avoid burning their paws on hot pavement.

Heatstroke Awareness: Recognizing signs like excessive panting, drooling, lethargy and collapse is essential. Moving pets to a cool area and contacting a vet immediately if heatstroke is suspected can save lives.

Keeping Pets Hydrated throughout the Summer

Keeping water bowls filled and accessible ensures pets stay hydrated. When outside, bringing a water bottle for pets helps maintain their hydration. Adding ice, broth or pet-safe liquids to water can make it more enticing, if approved by a veterinarian. Adding wet food to your pet’s diet can also provide additional hydration.

Fun in the Water

Water activities are great for keeping pets cool. Monitoring pets while they play in pools or lakes and using life jackets for safety in deeper water is important. Avoiding untreated water sources protects pets from harmful bacteria. Cooling mats are another excellent option for hot days. The mats are made of a material that absorbs a pet’s body heat and allows it to dissipate more easily.

Leaving Pets at Home

It is vital to never leave pets in parked vehicles, as temperatures can rise dangerously fast. If leaving pets in the car is unavoidable, ensuring they are with a human and the air conditioning is on helps prevent overheating.

Summer Pet Enrichment

Pet enrichment involves activities that stimulate a pet’s mind and body, reducing stress and improving overall health. Here are some summer enrichment ideas to try at home:

For Dogs

Wading Pools: Setting up a small pool in the backyard provides a refreshing playtime.

Pupsicles: Freezing a mix of peanut butter, yogurt and deli meat makes for a cool treat. Always check first with a veterinarian before altering a pet’s diet.

Muffin Tin Puzzles: Hiding treats in a muffin tin covered with tennis balls engages dogs’ brains and senses while they sniff out the treats.

Bottle Crinklers: Filling a plastic bottle with kibble and covering it with a sock offers auditory stimulation.

Towel Sushi Rolls: Rolling treats in a towel allows dogs to use their noses to unroll and find the goodies inside.

For Cats

‘Catcuterie’ Boards: Freezing wet food and catnip on mini frisbees provides a prolonged treat.

Frozen Treat Caps: Filling and freezing plastic bottle caps with wet food offers a cool, lickable treat.

Toilet Paper Roll Treats: Filling rolls with dry treats and closing the ends encourages cats to paw and sniff to get the treats out, which is great for indoor play.

By following these tips and incorporating enrichment activities, pet owners can ensure a safe, happy and stimulating summer for their furry friends. With these tips in mind, there are many ways to enjoy the summer season while keeping pets safe and healthy.

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