Heat Safety Tips For Pets

Summer can be a fun time with increased outdoor activities for you and your pets; water activities such as boating, other watercrafting or paddleboarding and swimming- whether it be beaches, or docks on lakes, rivers or oceans. Also parks, camping, and hikes that a lot of us love to enjoy, including our furry companions as well!

Sara Forsberg · July 21, 2020

Heat Safety Tips For Pets

Summer can be a fun time with increased outdoor activities for you and your pets; water activities such as boating, other watercrafting or paddleboarding and swimming- whether it be beaches, or docks on lakes, rivers or oceans. Also parks, camping, and hikes that a lot of us love to enjoy, including our furry companions as well! Here are some tips for keeping them safe and not letting the summer heat get in the way of having fun with your pet.

Heat Stroke

Did you know that a car can reach an internal temperature of 100°F in just 20 minutes even when the outside temperature is only 70°F? That is because the car’s interior radiates heat, which turns your car virtually into an oven! It can only take only minutes for a child to suffer heatstroke after being left in a car. Dogs are even more at risk because they have very few sweat glands – most are found between their paw pads (which is why dogs pant in order to cool down).

You can prevent hyperthermia by keeping your pet in cool shady areas and always provide access to clean, filtered water. It’s advisable to restrict exercise and keep your pet out of direct sun on those especially hot summer days- especially mid day and afternoon; and remember – NEVER leave your pets in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. With the hectic lives we live it can be very easy for a few minutes to turn quickly into 20 mins or even more, so it’s best not to even take the chance.

In Case of Emergency

Besides heat stroke, there are other dangers associated with increased activity and the extreme temperatures of summer. Our dogs are more likely to spend time outdoors running, swimming, boating or playing at a beach or park; so it’s important to be prepared in case of an emergency. Besides heat stroke; a cut or burnt paw pad, the accidental ingestion of a foreign or toxic substance, drinking water from an unreliable source that may have parasites can happen to any of our pets without warning, so it’s important to be prepared for unforeseeable circumstances that may come up while enjoying summer with your pet.

Make sure to have with you the phone number and address of the nearest emergency animal clinic in case a trip to the emergency room is in order. It’s recommended to also have the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline (888) 426-4435 programmed into your cell phone.

Hot Surfaces

Because we wear shoes, we may tend to forget about how hot outdoor hard surfaces can get during the summer. Our pets don’t have that luxury. Extremely painful burnt, blistered and bleeding paw pads can be avoided by making sure to walk your dog on grassy areas instead. Also try going on walks early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not so strong.

Check the pavement for heat by placing your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds. If it is too hot for you to keep hand on it, then it is too hot for your pet. If you can’t avoid the hot pavement, there are boots you can purchase for your pup to help protect them from the scorching ground (and beneficial in winter as well for cold, ice and salt!). If your dog resists to wearing paw apparel, you can also purchase creams or waxes that you can apply to your dog or cat’s paw pads to protect them from sand, hot pavement, and in the winter- ice and salt. It’s what dog mushers use to keep their dog’s protected and running at full speed during those long, dog sled races. Be sure to check the ingredients for the creams and/or waxes to be sure they are safe for your furry friend.

Sun Safety

A dog sunscreen nose balm is recommended for dog’s with lighter colored noses to prevent them from getting burnt. Some lighter colored dogs and hairless dogs also benefit from dog friendly sunscreen (never put human sunscreen on your dog because it’s poisonous if they ingest it from licking it!). However, some dogs will still lick off dog friendly sunscreen, so rather than lathering it over your dog’s entire body, you could consider investing in protective clothing. Several companies make sun shirts or suits for dogs that cover large areas of their bodies, saving you the worry that your pup will lick off any sunscreen, and it also protects against mosquitoes and other insect pests. 

Drinking Water

The most important thing to remember to keep your pets safe and healthy during the summer heat is for them to stay hydrated. Our dogs don’t have as many sweat glands as we do, so drinking lots of water throughout the summer months helps to keep them cool. Always make sure they have plenty of access to clean, filtered water, especially if they’re outdoors. Never leave home without a collapsible water bowl or a pet formulated water bottle and bring filtered water if you do not have access to safe water. In addition to these suggestions, consider switching to the Frozen BARF Diet that contains 70-75% moisture; unlike dry kibble which tends to have a moisture content of only 7-10%.

In closing, remember – when you’re enjoying summertime fun with your pet, keep all these warm weather pet safety tips in mind!

Raw Food Tip:

The further we stray from feeding our pets a diet they are naturally designed to eat, the more health problems they are at risk of facing. Most of these problems can be prevented or reversed by taking the positive step of switching from a processed-food diet to a raw meat diet, such as the BARF Diet.

A biologically appropriate raw food diet just makes sense. It is Mother Nature’s first choice for our canines…and you can’t mess with Mother Nature because she knows what is best for her babies.

- Robert Mueller, Sr.

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Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg

Sara has been part of the BARF team since 2019. She is responsible for some admin duties, helping keep the office running smoothly and support for Rob Jr. and the rest of the team. She has been passionate about animals since a small child growing up with a Siberian Husky and 3 cats, and as an adult having a Labrador Retriever that suffered from a lot of allergy problems. She now has an indoor/ outdoor farm cat rescue named Callie, and a new addition in another Lab named Jax. She has 7 children that keep her busy in most of her spare time; but enjoys the anything on or near the water, spending time with friends and family, music, reading and cooking.

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!

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