When the weather gets hot in the summer, people naturally want to go outdoors to the park, the beach, or some other place to cool off and have fun. There are many situations where you might want to bring your pet along for the day as well but take caution, Westport pet owners: not every activity is pet-safe. Pet owners need to be prepared to put their pet’s needs and safety first above their interests. However, if you do bring your pet, make sure to know where to find an emergency veterinary hospital in the area and ensure that your pet meets the vaccination requirements in MA. This will protect your pet in many ways and allow you to get them the help they need in an emergency.
Is Your Pet Healthy for Outdoor Activities?
Perhaps the best place to start is scheduling a veterinary check-up with your trusted veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. We can perform a complete evaluation and let you know if a trip to the beach or family vacation would be best for your beloved pet. Sometimes, staying with a family friend or weekend at the local boarding facility is a better bet, especially if your pet is very young, very old, or has health considerations. Not sure where to board your pet? Ask one of our vet techs or veterinarians when you visit our emergency veterinary hospital and clinic.
Keeping Your Pet Safe at Home
A day trip might mean leaving your pets at home while you travel to the shore or go boating at the lake. Make sure that you provide an adequate amount of fresh water for your pet and a cool place to rest. Air conditioning is highly recommended in the heat of the summer – even if you just have a space cooler in a single room, make sure your pets can hang out in a controlled temperature while you are away. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can happen to pets who are left in a hot house or outdoors all day without supervision. Consider asking a neighbor or family friend to check on your pet if you will be gone for more than 12 hours, especially if they need to go outdoors or be walked.
Protect Your Pet from the Sun
When people hit the beach in the summer, it usually means floppy hats, loads of sunscreen, and lots of bottled water. This is also true for pets. Pet-safe sunscreens are now available to prevent your pet’s sensitive skin from getting burned. Keeping your pet in the shade can also help to avoid sun damage and intensive heat exposure. Keep a collapsible bowl and a separate bottle of water available for your pet while you are out enjoying the summer weather. Protect your pet’s sensitive feet when walking on sand, sidewalks, and asphalt. Consider purchasing pet booties to protect their feet or walk in the grass whenever possible to prevent burns on the pads of their feet.
Pets in Vehicles
We hear a lot about the dangers of heat exposure when pets are left alone in vehicles. Even a 70-degree sunny day can translate to temperatures of more than 100 degrees in just 20 minutes and over 140 degrees in direct sunlight in less than an hour. If you bring your pet with you to run errands or take a day trip, only go to places where they are welcome indoors or have someone come with you to stay with them in the car. While there are some advanced vehicles that have “pet mode” options to keep the air running while you go into the store, there are still many safety concerns that must be considered. If you don’t have someone to stay with your pet or cannot bring them safely indoors with you, think about just leaving them at home.
Family Vacations with Pets
There are now a lot of hotels, resorts, and vacation hot spots that invite guests to bring along their beloved pets. Make sure to bring along the information regarding records for vaccination requirements in MA and keep the contact information for your local emergency veterinary hospital handy. Contact your veterinarian to discuss any concerns or recommendations for traveling with a pet. A comprehensive veterinary check-up can give Westport pet owners peace of mind in whatever they decide to do with the family pet when they go away in the summer on vacation. Call Anchor Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our team members by calling 508-996-3731. We are open 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm Saturday, and are closed on Sundays and major holidays.