Summertime is full of foods cooked on the grill, lake adventures, and the highlight of the season—July Fourth. As the most dazzling summer holiday approaches, follow these seven tips, to keep your furry pal safe and happy, despite the exploding fireworks overhead. 

#1: Beat the heat with cool pet treats

When the summer heats up, you cool down with cool treats like popsicles and frosty drinks. Your furry pal will also enjoy pet-friendly treats to help beat the heat, so whip up your own pupsicle or kitty cocktail for their cool refreshment. For your pooch, try mixing mashed banana bites with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt, and canned dog food. Freeze a rubber Kong stuffed with the concoction, for the perfect cooling canine treat. For your feline friend, toss tiny tuna-flavored ice cubes into their water dish, to entice them to drink more during the dog days of summer.

#2: Practice with a doggy vest before your dog heads out on a boat

If your pup tags along on your boating adventure, keep them safe with a doggy vest. Practice on dry land first, to acclimate your dog to the feel of the vest, and ensure it fits comfortably. Once out on the lake, keep a close eye on your pooch if you all jump overboard to cool down. While a flotation device will help keep your dog’s head above water, avoid excessive splashing, dunking, or swimming too near the boat to prevent any accidents. 

#3: Ensure your dog drinks only fresh, clean water

“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” Don’t let this come true for your pet when outdoors, especially around chlorinated pool water, or salty ocean water, which can be health hazards for your furry pal, and lead to toxicity issues. You may be around a body of water, but you should still pack plenty of fresh, clean water when heading outdoors with your pet. 

#4: Avoid taking your pet out when the sun is hottest

Your pet has zero desire to gain a killer tan this summer. In fact, some light-colored or thin-furred pets can suffer from uncomfortable sunburns, and white cats can develop squamous cell carcinomas when exposed to too much sunlight. Protect your pet from the harsh rays by exercising and playing outdoors in the early morning or late evening, and sticking to shady areas when outside for brief potty breaks. 

When walking your pet on asphalt or pavement, check the surface temperature, to ensure your pooch’s paw pads won’t get burned. If you can’t comfortably lay the back of your hand on the pavement, it’s too hot for your pup. The sun’s heat can linger in such surfaces long after sunset, so stick to walking on grass or dirt.

#5: Don’t give your pet a doggy bag from your summer cookout

While your pet would love it if you brought them home a slab of ribs, or some mayo-laden potato salad from your neighbor’s cookout, keep all the delicious barbecue goodies to yourself. Gastrointestinal obstructions and pancreatitis are common occurrences in pets who attend cookouts. Rib bones, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, fatty steaks, hot dogs, and side dishes loaded with mayonnaise, garlic, and onions can all harm your furry pal. Offer them one of the cooling treats in the first tip, rather than share your leftovers.

#6: Prevent firework freakouts in your pet by planning ahead

Most pets do not enjoy fireworks nearly as much as their owners. In fact, many cats and dogs cower in terror at the dazzling lights and cacophony of explosions. Help your four-legged friend feel safe and secure by creating a soundproof haven in your home. Outfit a small, quiet room with a cozy bed, tasty treats, food puzzle, favorite toy, soothing music, and calming pheromones. Place your pet in their bunker well before the fireworks begin, to ensure they don’t have time to become anxious. If your pet panics with fireworks, talk to your Billings Animal Family Hospital veterinarian about pharmaceutical options that will help ease their fear.

#7: Protect your pet from hungry parasites

When you head out to enjoy the summer temperatures, so do fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These pesky parasites ramp up their activity as temperatures warm up, and your pet is at a higher risk for contracting serious illnesses, without proper protection. Prevent your furry pal from becoming a blood-sucking parasite’s snack by administering flea, tick, and heartworm prevention on the appropriate schedule. Simplify giving your pet their preventive on time by signing up for autoship through our online pharmacy. We offer a wide variety of preventives designed to fit your pet’s individual needs.

Are you unsure about the best parasite prevention product, to keep your pet safe? Or, does your furry pal quiver in fear at an explosive fireworks display? Our Billings Animal Family Hospital team is here to help with any of your beloved companion’s summertime issues. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s appointment.