Summer Pet Safety in River North

The summers can get hot in the city, and although we can regulate our body temperatures through sweating, our pets are not so lucky. Dogs and cats cannot sweat as we do, so when confronted with hot temperatures, they become more vulnerable to heatstroke. Additionally, as we all spend more time outdoors, pets need to be kept safe on their walks, at the lake, and even at home during severe weather. Companion Animal Hospital of River North is committed to helping you and your furry companion have the best summer yet, so we’ve gathered some summer safety tips for you!

Heat Safety

Despite the heat of summer, your dogs still need to be let outdoors for their walks and bathroom breaks. Cats, for the most part, are lucky to be indoors only, and so can benefit from the AC. To keep your dog safe when outdoors, keep these tips in mind.

  • Take your walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest time of day.
  • Keep your pet off hot pavement. The asphalt can burn their paws and elevate their body temperature to dangerous levels.
  • Whenever your pet is outdoors, ensure they have enough fresh water to drink and plenty of shade to rest in.
  • NEVER leave your dog or cat in a parked vehicle. The temperature can reach dangerous levels in mere minutes that could cause severe internal damage and even death.
Dog drinking water from fountain: Summer Pet Safety in Chicago
Dog swimming: Summer Pet Safety in Chicago

Lake Safety

Going to the lake is always a refreshing way to spend a summer’s day. While taking your pet along can be a fun, fulfilling experience for you both, be sure to take these considerations to heart.

  • Not all dogs can swim well. Barrel-chested breeds such as Bulldogs and Boxers will struggle in the water, so make sure they have a lifejacket and are always kept close to you.
  • Remember that pets can get sunburned as well, usually on their delicate noses and ears. Pets with short, white coats are most at risk. Get a pet-safe sunscreen so you can all enjoy a day at the beach safely.
  • Even the best swimmers can get tired. Make sure you all take a break after a long swim!
  • Rip currents are a danger to our pets, too. Pay attention to any warnings from lifeguards and stay in safe areas where your whole family can swim safely.

Severe Weather Safety

Summers can bring about dangerous thunderstorms and even the occasional tornado. Keep your pet safe with these tips.

  • Dogs and cats are often more in tune with the weather than we are. Bring any pets who are outdoors inside well before the storm hits so they don’t get spooked and try to escape.
  • Consider investing in a Thundershirt or talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication if your pet is particularly frightened by storms.
  • Make sure your pet is properly identified with a collar and ID tags as well as a microchip. This will help any pets who do escape to return home to you.

Parasite Prevention

Parasites love the warmth as much as we do and are out in force this time of year. Fleas, ticks, and heartworms are the most common parasites our pets face. They can transmit dangerous diseases to our pets as well as irritate their skin. Talk to your veterinarian if your pet is currently unprotected. We’ll help you decide on the best preventative for both your pet and your budget.

If you have any further questions about summer pet safety in River North, contact our animal hospital today! We’ll be happy to help.