cute older dog runs on the meadow in hot Atlanta summer

Enjoying the Atlanta Sun Safely

Atlanta’s summer heat provides plenty of opportunities to have fun in the sun, but it can also be dangerous for our fur babies.

Before you take them out for a walk or to their favorite park this summer, take the time to read through our 5 pet summer safety tips to keep them happy and healthy this summer.

Keep Pets Cool and Hydrated

Pets should always have access to fresh water and plenty of shade. Regularly replace the water in their bowls and make sure they have plenty of it.  If you’re going out with your pet, bring a collapsible bowl for them or a portable pet water bottle.  

Pets should have access to plenty of shade when they’re outside as well. The sun beating down on them can increase their body temperatures very quickly and being able to retreat to the shade can keep them cool and happy.

Cars Get Hot FAST!

Leaving your pets in hot cars is extremely dangerous.  As you can see from the image below, the inside temperature of a car can rise to almost 90° in 10 minutes when it’s only 70° outside!  When you take your pets out with you, make sure that the vehicle is cool, and always take them with you when you exit the car, even for those short stops.  

jack russell dog in hot car temperature warning
Do you know how hot the inside of a car can get even when it’s just 70° outside in Atlanta?

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke in Pets

A heat stroke isn’t something that only humans can suffer from. Our pets can suffer from one, too. Before you start enjoying the summer with your pets, learn to recognize these signs of one so that you can take quick action and contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Excessive Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling
  • Body temperature exceeding 103 degrees
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate
  • Urinating less than normal
  • Reddened gums
  • Wobbly movement

Sunscreen for Pets

Before you go swimming or playing with your family, you probably grab the sunscreen and make sure everyone is well coated. While it’s not as well-known as normal sunscreen, there’s sunscreen available for your pets, too.

You can find it as a spray, wipe-on towel, and sometimes a lotion. While it may be tempting to just use what you have at your house, make sure to buy a sunscreen specifically made for your pet. Zinc oxide is a common ingredient in normal sunscreen, and it’s toxic to dogs.

Some dogs are more sensitive to the sun than others.  For instance, dogs with a light or thin coat and dogs with light pigmented noses and eyelids can get sunburned easily.

Asphalt Burns Their Feet, Too

If you’ve ever stepped onto your porch with bare feet after it’s been baking in the sun all day, you know the pain that hot concrete or asphalt can cause. As we discussed in last month’s blog post, your dogs and other pets might have thick pads on their feet, but they still feel that pain.

If the ground is hot, don’t allow your pets to walk on it. It can cause serious burns. If you like to walk your pets on hot days, buy them some of their own specially designed shoes, walk them on cooler ground, and consider walking in the early morning or evening when it’s not as hot.

Final Thoughts

These pet summer safety tips cover the some of the most common threats that the Atlanta sun poses to pets, but there are others to worry about. Before you go out for a fun day with your pets, make sure you know how to keep them happy and healthy under the sweltering sun.  Keeping your pets properly groomed can also help them deal with the heat. Contact us to get your pets are on a regular grooming schedule.

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