Prepare Your Pet For Summer 

From making plans to buying new clothes to filling your time with, exhilarating (or relaxing)  hobbies, gearing up for summer can be a fun and exciting exercise. With hotter months ahead, don’t forget that your pets need certain preparation in advance of summer also. With increased dangers like infectious bugs, poisonous plants and more time around water, plus the threat of heat itself, summer is an important time to make sure your pets are ready. Start with a few simple tips that can help ensure safety throughout the summer months.  

Keep them hydrated. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl both inside and outside is critical during summertime. While you’re on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container. 

Protect against bugs. Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other pesky bugs can cause headaches and health problems when the weather warms. Many standard flea collars and solutions contain pesticides and chemicals that can not only harm your pet, but pose a danger to human health as well –especially for children or pregnant women.  There are many safe, natural methods that are effective for preventing and controlling pests including diatomaceous earth, essential oils and apple cider vinegar. 

Groom and bathe regularly. One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and help prevent matting and summertime skin irritation is regular grooming and bathing with a gentle, all natural shampoo. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy top coat. 

Never leave your pet in a parked car. On a hot day, the temperature inside a car can reach more than 160 degrees in five minutes.  And leaving the windows cracked or parking in the shade doesn’t keep those temperatures from soaring 

Clean the yard. Before letting dogs, cats or other pets out into the yard to play, check for hazards that can be removed or prevented. Search the yard for poisonous plants, ensure that fences are sturdy and whole, watch the area for possible predators if you own smaller pets and monitor your pet’s outdoor activity. Avoid using pesticides and herbicide. Dogs can directly ingest toxic chemicals by licking their paws and fur and the chemicals get tracked into your home, contaminating floors and furniture.      

Check screens. When the temperature is just right, many people love to throw open doors and windows to allow fresh air to rush through screen doors. However, those screens should be checked to ensure that pets can’t push them out. 

Add ID. Whether your pets play outside often or not, it’s a smart investment to add an identification tag to their collars. If they were to ever make a dash for an open gate or find a way outside without attention, an ID can help significantly increase the chances they are returned home safely. 

Make a vacation checklist. Before hitting the road for a fun family getaway, add important pet items to  your checklist. Remember that while on a trip, your pet will need food and water, of course, but also may require specific bedding, toys, treats and more. 

 Summer can provide a great opportunity to spend ample time bonding with pets, but preparing in advance for some of the pitfalls of all of the excitement can ensure that your pet enjoys it just as much as you do.