Summer is here, which means loads of time spent outdoors at the lake, camping, hiking, and enjoying a variety of summertime activities. And, if you’re anything like us, family fun usually includes fur babies!

Aside from ensuring your pet makes a springtime visit to see the friendly Bayside staff for routine pest prevention, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure they stay safe and healthy all summer long.

Keep pets cool 

dog staying cool in summer by playing with hose

Make sure pets have plenty of fresh, clean, cool water—especially if they’ll be spending time outdoors. Access to shade—whether from trees in your yard or a covered patio—will also help them stay cool and provide a hide-out away from the summer sun. 

Pet Sunscreen 

This may not seem necessary since our pets are covered in fur. But protecting their skin with SPF is just as important as protecting your own. Look for pet-safe sunscreens to apply to noses, paws, lips, and bellies. Avoid super-short or shaved grooming choices in summer to avoid pet sunburn which can create additional trips to the vet. If a summer pet haircut is necessary, be sure to apply sunblock to any exposed skin.

Never leave your pets to swim, unsupervised! 

dog playing with toy in water with owner supervising

Summer means fun in the sun and…swimming. Don’t forget: Not all breeds are good swimmers, so introduce pups to the water slowly. We also recommend getting them their own life jacket. This will ensure they’re safe in and around the water (and provide you peace of mind). No matter how good of a swimmer your doggo is, never leave them in water alone!

Watch for snakes! 

Snakes are found in every state and most bite-induced vet visits occur from March to October, when snakes are most active. One of the best ways to avoid these slithery sun-lovers is to stay on maintained trails or highly trafficked paths. When in unfamiliar surroundings, keep your pet on a leash to ensure they don’t do any solo, off-trail adventuring.

If you live in a rural area, be sure to clean up wood and brush piles, as these make a perfect hiding (or nesting) place for snakes. In the event that you and your furry friend do come nose to tail with a snake, stay calm and move away slowly.

Protect those paws! 

dog paws and pavement

Our fur babies process heat and cool from their toes up. So whether you’re walking along sandy beaches, downtown sidewalks, or local hiking trails, keep their paws cool and protected. A good rule of thumb: If the ground is too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for their paws! Not only can their little toe beans burn, too much heat through their paw pads can lead to overheating and heat stroke.

Do NOT leave your pet in a car! 

dog in a car looking out window for his owner

All animals can suffer from heatstroke, not just those with long/thick coats, and hundreds of pets perish every year in parked cars. Even if it’s overcast, the temp inside your vehicle can rise 20 degrees in only 10 minutes.

For this and other summer pet safety tips, follow us on social media and check out our other blogs–including Heat and Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets and Pet Safety at a Summer BBQ