Safety tips for your dogs during the summer months

Our beloved rescue dog, Iris.  Martin Pierce Hardware

What with the hot weather, nasty bugs and noisy fireworks and thunderstorms, summer can be an upsetting and sometimes dangerous time for your dogs (and other pets).  Here are some simple and common sense tips that will insure that your entire family, including pets, has a safe and enjoyable summer.

  1. First and foremost, get your pets micro chipped or, at the very least, make sure they are wearing some sort of ID that will help get them back home to you should they get lost. Social media and technology can help locate missing pets as well.  Check out sites like Whistle Labs Inc. or the hashtag #Lost4Dogs.
  2. Many pets, especially dogs, react negatively to the sounds of fireworks.  It is important to make sure that your dog is kept in a safe environment that not only provides comfort during this scary time but prevents him or her from running away in fear. Keep your pet indoors during summer storms or periods of time that could be frightening such as a loud party, holiday firework celebrations etc.  Provide a "safe spot" such as a crate, special bed or closed room that will help keep them calm during these stressful periods.
  3. Noise distractions can help so turn up the TV or play your pets favorite tunes during noisy celebrations.
  4. Some dogs find comfort in tight "anxiety wraps" similar to swaddling a newborn baby.
  5. Provide plenty of water during hot weather but also when your dog is stressed as they will pant more often and become thirsty much quicker.
  6. Did you know dogs can get sunburned?  Did you know there is sunscreen made especially for dogs?  DO NOT use sunscreen meant for humans and containing zinc on your dogs!

As you are probably aware, thousands of dogs and cats find themselves lost and homeless each year.  In fact, according to the ASPCA, more pets go missing over the 4th of July weekend than any other time of year.  Thank goodness there are organizations such as The Rescue Train in Los Angeles that provide a safe haven for these animals while they are waiting to find their new homes.