The temperatures in Las Vegas can be dangerously hot during summer. We regularly pass 100˚F in our hottest months. This number comes with very low air humidity and a blazing amount of sunshine and dry wind. Dealing with this can be extremely harmful to both humans and animals if not managed properly. Summer pet safety is an absolute must. In this blog post, we’ll give you some simple tips on how you can “beat the heat” and take good care of your pets to survive the hot summer in Las Vegas.
Summer Pet Safety 101: Protecting Your Pets in the Las Vegas Heat
1. Keep your pets indoors.
While, as a great fur-parent, you know it's best to walk your dogs daily, avoid the sun's rays during the hottest parts of the day. Dogs' paws can easily be irritated during summer, leading to burns on the pads of the paws. Don’t let them walk on asphalt, pavement, or any sort of concrete-based material.
While the ground heats up quickly and can burn your pooch's feat, that isn't the only concern. The summer heat can cause your dog’s body temperature to quickly rise, causing heatstroke.
If you want to try going for walks, it should happen very early in the morning or late at night.
2. Never leave your pets in a car.
Even if you park your car under a tree or leave your windows slightly open, it's dangerous for pets to be left inside, plain and simple. The temperature inside your car can get up to 173˚! If you can't take your dog with you wherever you're going, it's best to leave them at home.
Note that even if your car has tinted windows, you should not be leaving your pet inside while you run errands.
3. Always have clean, cool water available.
Clean water is not enough. During summertime, it's advisable to change your pets' water bowl from time to time and refill it with cold water. This is one of the simplest ways to avoid heat injuries and ensure summer pet safety. Helping your pets stay hydrated is vital for their health and survival.
If you’re going to a beach or lake, bring plenty of water from home and keep it in a cooler. Don't forget to bring a bowl or cup that your dog can drink out of. Try a quick Amazon search for "travel dog dish" and you'll see plenty of portable ways to bring water along for your fur-baby.
If you're planning on letting them drink from nature, you might want to reconsider. Water from rivers and lakes can be contaminated and harmful for your pets.
4. Watch the food they’re eating.
Do your summer activities include cookouts and BBQs? Be careful with what kind of scraps your dogs can get their paws on.
Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and any other products with sugar/sweetener aren't good for dogs and cats. Keep an eye on what your pets are eating, especially when the summer parties in your backyard start to heat up! Maintaining their usual diet during summertime is a big help in avoiding digestive ailments.
5. Stay away from fireworks.
Fireworks are a part of summer, mostly around the 4th of July. Still, you might hear your neighbors shooting them off throughout the whole season.
Loud and sudden sounds and bright lights can send your pets into a panic and even cause them to feel disoriented, too. Additionally, fireworks are known for causing pets to flee the home out of pure fear. Make sure your home and yard are escape-proof. If you hear fireworks going off, play loud but gentle music to calm their fears.
6. Don’t force your dog to do water activities.
Some dogs are terrified of water. Don’t force them to do water activities with you if they’re scared. If your dogs love to swim, accompany them in the water and don’t leave them unattended. Make sure to bathe them after to remove all sand, chlorine, or particles stuck in their fur.
7. Don’t allow dogs to hang out the window out of a moving vehicle.
While they might enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze, your dog can easily jump out of your car when they're hanging out the window. It's dangerous for them, you, and other drivers on the road.
8. Keep them indoors when there are thunderstorms.
You now know that dogs hate loud and abrupt sounds, and this includes thunderstorms. Keep them indoors when isolated rain showers begin.
9. Attend regular check-ups for heartworm monitoring.
Heartworm grows in prevalence during summer because it's more easily transmitted through insect bites and/or contact with another animal that is a carrier.
Heartworms can be found in dogs and cats and can develop into heartworm disease if not treated in a timely manner. Be proactive and not reactive, and stay up-to-date with your vet appointments.
10. Apply flea and tick prevention monthly.
Fleas and ticks can carry other harmful parasites to your dogs and cats. They're also a common cause of anemia and other diseases, like Lyme Disease. There are various approaches to prevent the spread of fleas and ticks for pets. See your veterinarian to check which specific products are the best fit for your pets given the environment, breed, health, and age.
11. Watch out for bites and stings.
If your pet is the type who loves to relax in the yard, watch out for stings and insect bites, which are common causes of face swelling and wrinkly skin. Be on the lookout for bees, spiders, scorpions, and even snakes. If you think your pet was bitten or stung, see a veterinarian right away.
12. Apply sunscreen.
Yes, pups need sunscreen too! This is a simple way to adhere to summer pet safety. Hairless dogs, light-colored fur dogs, and white dogs easily get sunburn. Make sure to apply sunscreen before going out.
13. Avoid shaving your fluffy friends.
During the summer, shaving your pets is a bad idea. They can more easily get sunburn and bug bites. So, their fur actually helps to protect them. If they desperately need to be groomed, to be safe, opt for a short trim to remove the excess fur.
Summer pet safety is going to be important in keeping your furry friend safe and healthy. Follow these tips and if you're ever feeling unsure of how to manage the summer heat in Las Vegas, be sure to call your vet for guidance!