Ten Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe this Summer and All Year Long

As summer approaches, we again enjoy our outdoor community and plan driving and camping trips. For pet owners, these activities also mean extra special consideration for dogs, cats and other animals.

Taking some simple steps can help keep your pet happy all summer long.

As summer approaches, we again enjoy our outdoor community and plan driving and camping trips. For pet owners, these activities also mean extra special consideration for dogs, cats and other animals.

With this in mind, the International Fund for Animal Welfare has compiled some tips on how you can be prepare to include your animals in the coming months whether in your immediate community or abroad. When spending time in the summer heat, make sure your pet stays happy and healthy by following these pet safety tips:

  1. Keep Things Cool: Some of us may believe that hotter is better, but our animal companions don’t necessarily agree. Make sure that animals spending time outdoors always have access to a shaded area and plenty of fresh, clean water.
  2. Don’t Get Bugged: Bugs are just as annoying to your pets as they are to you. Don’t leave your pet in a buggy area, and consult with your vet about prevention for fleas and ticks.
  3. Chill Out: Be careful not to over-exercise your pets or let them stand on asphalt for an extended period of time. Hot asphalt can mean damaged, painful paws and, over-exertion can lead to a rapid increase in body temperature.
  4. Practice Car Safety: Never leave an animal in a parked car, even for a short period of time. Your vehicle can get extremely hot in a matter of minutes, quickly causing your pet distress or even death. If it feels hot to you, it feels even hotter for your pet. And if you see an animal left in a car, immediately notify management of the appropriate store, or contact animal control. If you become concerned that your pet has overheated, place them in a cool, well-ventilated area, provide plenty of fresh, cool water, and immediately contact your vet.

When jet-setting off on new adventures, it’s common to encounter animals interacting differently in their communities than we do at home. If your travels leave you concerned about the welfare of local animals, these are things you can do to help:

  1. Don’t pass judgment too quickly: It is important to remember that some communities live with dogs, cats, and other animals in ways that are different from what you’re accustomed to. Try to be supportive of the community by first talking with animal owners. Encourage individuals to provide adequate food and shelter for their furry companions. Trying to understand the way a community interacts with its companion animals on a daily basis is a vital and unique aspect of being an animal-loving tourist abroad.
  2. Don’t turn a blind eye: You should always report any instance of animal abuse and cruelty to the appropriate authorities Remember, animal mistreatment is bad for tourism and reflects poorly on the community, so it is important to make your concerns known, respectfully. Tell your tour operator, hotel management, or local shop owners that you’re concerned about the animals you see. Let them know that good animal welfare is good for business.
  3. Know where your money is going: Often, animal exploitation and the tourism industry go hand-in-hand. Animals used for entertainment purposes, rides and travel, or photo opportunities often deal with cruel treatment and unimaginable living conditions. Always research tourist programs ahead of time to avoid supporting services that are not animal-friendly. Also, be sure to avoid purchasing souvenirs made from animal and wildlife products.
  4. Practice safety first: Roaming dogs and cats may or may not be vaccinated against diseases like rabies, or enjoy contact with new people. Use caution when interacting with any animal you don’t know. Don’t attempt to chase or pick-up an animal that runs away, is on private property, or looks threatening. If you believe the scenario may jeopardize the health and safety of you or the animal, it is best to keep your distance and wait for a trained professional, such as an animal control officer, to handle the situation.
  5. Be proactive, plan ahead: It is always better to be prepared. You can investigate and contact local animal shelters, humane societies, and veterinarians in the event that you ever encounter an animal in distress. A quality organization is one that provides basic care including vaccination and first aid to animals, and does not hoard or overcrowd animals in its holding space.
  6. Model Compassion: Inspire locals to improve their animals’ care by setting a good example for how animals should be treated. Interact with animals in a kind, gentle, and responsible manner. By modeling compassionate behavior, you show that animals have value and are worthy of care and consideration.

Phew, that's 10! ;)

-- KA

For more information about the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to save animals around the world visit https://www.ifaw.org

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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project