Local pet experts offer summer safety tips

By Megan Biasiolli, Editorial Intern
Posted 7/14/21

It’s a summer filled with pool parties, beach balls, beach crowds, volleyball, and family gatherings. This summer people are starting to get back to enjoying the summer sun with family and …

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Local pet experts offer summer safety tips

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It’s a summer filled with pool parties, beach balls, beach crowds, volleyball, and family gatherings. This summer people are starting to get back to enjoying the summer sun with family and friends, but it is important to remember to keep pets safe and healthy, local experts said.

“The biggest thing is our Texas heat is pretty strong, so I always say keep your pets cool this summer.” owner of Patsy’s Pet Market, Patsy McGirl said.

McGirl sells healthy food and treats for dogs and cats and provides grooming services at her store at 1644 S. Mason Road in the Katy area. Her goal is to “strengthen the human-animal connection,” she said. Six years ago she moved to Katy Patsy’s Pet Market to make that happen in Katy. Patsy’s Pet Market offers grooming, dog walking clinics and training workshops.

When it comes to traveling it requires preparation and action to ensure that pets are safe, said Ana Rodriguez, outreach coordinator for Citizens for Animal Protection. CAP operates an animal shelter that accepts donations, volunteers and has a clinic to ensure animals are safe and healthy. They welcome animals into the shelter, and ensure they are adopted into loving, safe homes.

Summertime is when dogs are in danger of getting heatstroke, McGirl said. It is important to keep dogs cool and not leave them out in the sun for too long. Pets should not be left in the car because of intense heat exposure. Bored animals can also tear car seats and furniture, she added.

It is also important to keep cats cool, and give them fresh, clean water, McGirl said. If a cat lives outdoors, it is crucial they can get inside to get away from the heat.

McGirl said pet owners should walk their dogs before 9 a.m. or after 7:30 p.m. to avoid the hottest parts of the day and always have their dog on a leash.

Giving dogs watermelon and put ice in their water bowl will help them cool off and stay hydrated, McGirl said. 

McGirl said dog owners should make cooling bandanas by taking any fabric and soaking it in water, then putting it into a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer. The next day, tie it around the dog’s neck to help cool them off when they are outside.

Fleas can be a big problem for both cats and dogs in the summer, McGirl said. Pet owners should visit their veterinarian to prevent pets from being infested with fleas.

When going to the beach it is important to bring water and find shade for pets, McGirl said. She also said it is essential to keep dog’s fur short during the summer to keep them cool, whether they are at the beach or some other vacation spot.

“The safest way to travel with your pet is with your pet secured in a crate,” Rodriguez said.

Pets should have a crate big enough for them to stand, turn around and lay down in while traveling, Rodriguez said. Pet owners should use clips to secure the crate in a car the same way a person secures a car seat for a child.

Rodriguez also said to take pets to someone you know if you are not bringing them on vacation and periodically check on their pets while out of town. People should also take things that are familiar to their pet like their crate, leash, favorite toys and treats.

When traveling with a pet on an airplane pet owners should do some research about where their pet will be placed, Rodriguez said. Not all dogs can handle the cargo area, so it is important to ask the airline about what the environment will be like to see if it is a fit for their animal.

Pet owners should also consult with their veterinarian about if they can prescribe something that can calm a pet’s anxiety while on a trip, Rodriguez said.

It is also important to keep gates locked and secured. Many dogs were able to get out of their backyard in fear when hearing the fireworks on the Fourth of July and the period just after. Rodriguez said that on Thursday, July 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. there was still a line of people bringing lost dogs they’d found after the recent July 4 holiday.

Preparation, research, and action are the keys to making sure that pets are safe and protected, McGill and Rodriguez said.

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