It’s finally summer time, and your pets are probably just as happy as you are that the cold winter and long, rainy spring we’ve had in Delaware are over. Walks, visits to the dog park and the beach, vacations all beckon. But as you’re sipping a cold beverage and slathering on sunscreen, don’t neglect your dog or cat’s summer safety.

Although there are a lot of fun things to do with your pet kiddos when the weather turns warm, summer sun and high temperatures mean you should change some of your pet care routines.

Here are seven things to do (or just as importantly, not do!) to keep your precious pooch or kitty happy, healthy, and cool in the Southern Delmarva heat and humidity.

1.Never leave your pet in the car. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that hundreds of animals a year die in cars of heat stroke. So even if it’s just for a moment to slip into a store, don’t do it. Because cats and dogs don’t sweat like people do, they aren’t as able to regulate body temperature when the mercury level is up.

2.Keep your dog or cat’s bowl filled with fresh, clean water. Even if your home air conditioning is running, it may not be safe to leave your pets inside at home all day. Sunlight coming through windows, faulty thermostats, or extreme heat (90 degrees plus) can cause overheating and dehydration in indoor pets. Have someone check on your cat or dog if you’ll be gone all day to make sure they’re doing well and have fresh water to drink at all times.

3.Consult your veterinarian about the best methods of pest management. Ticks, fleas, and heartworms are all more prevalent in the summer months. Whether you choose a topical, oral, or other repellant, ensure your pet’s well-being by being proactive.

4.Watch out on walks! Especially in the middle of the day or when the sun is especially intense, try to walk in the shade and “off road.” Asphalt temperatures on Delmarva can skyrocket and your dog’s paws can get burned.

5.If you think it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter for your pet! After all, you’re not covered with fur and you can sweat. Make sure your pet has a means of cooling off. Consult with your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a hair clipping. More importantly, don’t just leave your dog or cat outside all day, even if it’s shady in your yard. Instead, keep them indoors and have a Delaware pet sitter monitor your animals when they go out in the yard or on a walk. A good dog walker or pet sitter will make sure your animals don’t get dehydrated or overheated.

6.Don’t forget the sunscreen. Dog bellies, noses, and any body parts not covered in fur can get sunburned, just like you can. But don’t just grab the sunscreen you use; some of the chemicals in human sunscreen can make dogs and cats sick if ingested. Purchase a sunscreen especially made for animals, and then make sure you remember to use it. Put a container right near the door with the leash to make it easy to remember. Dog sunscreen comes in various forms, including spray, wipes, and cream.

If you’re going on vacation, working, or just wanting to make extra sure your fur babies are coping with the heat this summer, it’s probably time to consider booking a For Your Spot animal specialist. Our pet care team knows all about keeping animals happy and healthy in these long summer days!