If your homeowner association allows pets, you likely know how important they are to their owners. As summer approaches, it is a good idea to remind those in your community about ways to keep pets safe during the hotter months. Summers can be tough on pets, especially in hotter states, and the higher heat can get to them. Here are some summer safety tips for HOA pets to keep in mind.
Hot Weather Tips for HOA Pets
Everyone who owns or has ever owned a pet knows how valuable they are. They make you happy after a tough day at work and serve as the perfect companions. In the summer, there are going to be a lot of animals in heat — literally. As such, you must consider your pet’s safety. The risk of a heat stroke is real, and you can easily lose your beloved furbaby in a matter of seconds. Follow these summer tips for HOA pets to keep them safe and cool:
1. Bring Them Inside
Any extreme temperature — whether it is very cold or very hot — means it is time to bring pets indoors. A good gauge of your pet’s comfort is your own. If you are uncomfortably hot or cold outside, your pet feels the same.
Check the weather daily and pay attention to the nightly temperatures, too. If the temperature rises or drops too much, consider bringing your beloved pet inside to stay healthy and comfortable.
2. Watch the Sidewalks
When the sun is beating down, sidewalk temperatures can be scorching. Consider this when you take your best friend out for a walk. Paws are very sensitive, and a hot sidewalk can easily burn their feet. Avoid walking dogs in places where the sidewalk or pavement is directly in the sun. Instead, try to go when it is cooler, like in the early mornings and evenings. You should also check paws regularly to make sure there is no sign of bleeding, cracking, or extreme dryness.
3. Make Water Abundant
Just as humans need water to stay hydrated, so do pets, especially in the summer months. Pets should have access to water at all times. Make sure to take a bottle of water for your fur baby when you go outside.
You can even shell out a little money for a kiddie pool in your backyard that your pets can cool off in. Also, make sure there is plenty of shade available so that your pets do not have to stay under the sun for a long time.
4. Stay Active Indoors
Pets can get cabin fever, too! To combat this, try playing with your pets indoors instead since you have to be more careful about overheating during the summer. This is a good way to get them some exercise without having to go out under the sun. Or if you have a park and lake nearby, you could take them there to cool off.
5. Do Not Shave
One of the most overlooked summer safety tips for pet owners is to refrain from shaving your pets. It is a common misconception that your pet’s fur makes it even hotter for them. You can groom your pets and give them a trim, but do not shave off their coats. Doing this will only increase the risk of sunburn and insect bites. Summer is usually when pets shed more fur. So, if you are worried about getting fur all over the place, brushing them regularly can help.
6. Fireworks Are Not Fun
The summertime can be fun for residents, as it usually means more outdoor barbecues and fireworks on the 4th of July. But, as a pet owner, pet safety must be your priority.
Most pets are afraid of loud noises and flashing lights, which is why fireworks are a big no-no for pets. Consider doing away with fireworks altogether. But, if you have to have them, keep your pets in a room where they cannot hear the commotion outside.
7. Protect Them from Fleas and Heartworms
Flea and heartworm prevention should be a priority year-round, but it is especially important during the summer months. Mosquitoes are more abundant in warmer climates, so the risk of heartworms is greater. As such, you should take your pet to vet for regular checkups. You should also ask your vet for any precautions you can take to keep your pet safe from fleas and heartworms.
8. Do Not Leave Them in Cars
Your car is like an oven during the summer. If you need to drive your dogs with you somewhere, do not leave them inside your closed vehicle. Take them with you wherever you go. If there is no need for you to bring them, then it is better to leave them at home where they can stay cool.
9. Supervise Them Around Pools
Some pet owners believe that all dogs were born natural swimmers, but that is not true. There are dogs who do not know how to swim and will drown when left in a pool.
If your community pool allows pets, being close to water can help keep them cool. However, you must never leave them unsupervised. Keep your eye on them at all times. This is also a good way to make sure they do not drink the pool water.
If you want your pet to learn how to swim, you can do so gradually. Do not just jump inside a pool with them in tow. It is a good idea to buy flotation devices for your pet, especially if you will be traveling by boat. Afterward, make sure to rinse out the chlorine or saltwater from your pet’s fur.
10. Watch Out for Signs
As a responsible pet owner, you must know how to recognize the signs of a heat stroke. Remember that a heat stroke can be fatal, and your pets have no way of telling you when they are suffering from one.
Some signs to watch out for include vomiting, a rapid heartbeat, glazed eyes, excessive thirst, difficulty breathing, a deep red or purple tongue, dizziness, and lethargy. Your pet may also experience fever, heavy panting, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, seizures, and unconsciousness. If you notice these in your pet, contact your vet immediately.
Keep Summer Pet Safety in Mind
Summer can be a fun and exciting time for pets and pet owners alike, but it does pose a few risks. The hot weather can cause great discomfort for your pets and even induce a heat stroke. The good news is, you can prevent this from happening. By following these tips for HOA pets, you can keep your furry friends safe and cool during the summer months.
Every HOA must educate homeowners on pet safety. If your HOA is having trouble with this or other pet-related regulations, feel free to contact an HOA management company like us for assistance.
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