Finding Appropriate Summer Activities for Your Pets

Summer is a time for vacationing, traveling, sunshine and more. But are your pets having as much fun as you are? What you consider enjoyable, your pets may find a nightmare – which is why it’s important to know your pet’s personality and prepare for any problems you may face.

Celebrating the Fourth of July with some fireworks? Unfortunately, those colorful bursts and booms may spark more than just an appreciative applause from the crowd. Pets can become very frightened from the various noises and react in ways you may not anticipate. Destructive behaviors like digging, inappropriate elimination, possibly even running away – all are ways your pet may try to handle or escape the noise. The best way to help your pet deal with fireworks is to leave them home in a quiet, sheltered area where they won’t feel threatened. If there’s no way to avoid the noise, you may want to consider calming aids to lower the chance of negative reactions.

Hosting a barbeque or neighborhood block party? While some pets love the extra attention, others may prefer to hide in their own corner, so keep them inside or provide them with an exercise pen outdoors. Make sure your pets have access to their own food, because not all human food is safe for pets to consume. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, avocados or alcohol can all be a recipe for disaster for dogs and cats. Keep matches, lighter fluids and bug repellant devices out of reach, which all contain chemicals that could be deadly if consumed.

Going to a concert in the park or maybe a state fair? You may want to consider leaving your pets at home. Similar to fireworks, many pets will be stressed by the extra noise and crowds. The heat can also be potentially dangerous, causing problems such as heat stroke or dehydration. If your pet got loose, it could also be difficult to locate them again, making identification especially important.

Visiting the beach or the pool? Some dogs love swimming, while others would just prefer to stay along the shore, so know what your dog prefers and don’t force them to swim if they don’t want to. Supervise them at all times, and make sure there’s an easy way out of the water in case they get tired. Even with all their fur, it’s also possible for pets to sunburn, especially if they have light-colored noses or hair. Use an animal-specific sunscreen (not human!) to help protect the skin on their nose and ear tips. You should also bathe them afterwards to remove any mud, sand or chlorine they might have acquired while swimming and playing.

By making yourself aware of the risks that come with some summer activities, you can make sure that both you and your pets are having fun!

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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