(Family Features) Sunny, warm days bring the welcome opportunity to change up your routine and spend more time outdoors with your beloved pets. However, soaring temperatures bring risks from heat and sun exposure, making your furry friends rely on you to help keep them healthy and safe.
Make these warm-weather adjustments to keep your pets in top condition and ready to enjoy all the season has to offer with these safety tips from PetSmart experts:
Keep them hydrated. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl both inside and outside is critical in the summertime. While you're on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container.
Serve up healthy meals. Warmer weather invites opportunities, such as enticing picnic spreads, for pets to nab tasty treats. Protect your pet’s health by preventing them from ingesting food intended for humans, and opt instead for food and treats that fit their special needs and preferences. The varieties offered by Natural Balance, which is now available at PetSmart, span dry and wet food made with premium quality ingredients in formulas such as limited ingredient, grain-free and weight management.
Never leave your pet in a parked car. Studies show that on a hot day, the temperature inside a car can reach more than 160 degrees in five minutes. Leaving the windows cracked for fresh air or parking in the shade don’t keep temperatures from soaring in record time, either. Leaving pets in the car "just for a minute" is never a good idea.
Groom regularly. One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and help prevent matting and summertime skin irritation is regular grooming. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy top coat.
Provide skin protection. Just like humans, dogs can experience sunburn and even skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply a sunscreen where hair is thin and skin lacks pigment (nose, ears and sensitive areas) every day your dog is outside.
Avoid hot surfaces. Dogs’ pads may seem tough, but sidewalks, pavement and sand can get so hot in the summer that dogs’ feet can burn and blister. To prevent this, schedule walks for the morning or evening, when sidewalks are cooler, or purchase protective boots designed just for dogs.
Practice smart snacking. After exercising and in between meals, a sensible snack can provide a boost of energy. Treats such as Natural Balance Dental Chews do double duty by giving a little help with oral care between brushing. Scientifically formulated with unique grooves, these tasty treats encourage natural, healthy chewing to help reduce and remove tartar and plaque.
Provide outdoor relief. The best spot for your pet to cool off in the yard is a shaded grassy area because grass releases moisture and keeps your pet cooler than concrete, dirt or gravel. For added comfort, provide a raised bed that increases the flow of cooler air underneath the bed mat to help your pet beat the heat.
Keep water safety top of mind. Even if you consider your dog a good swimmer, a life jacket is very important if you take him with you on the boat or trips to the beach.
Find more ways to keep your pet summer safe at www.petsmart.com.
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