Megan Rees with her dog, Moose!
By: Megan Rees, Dumb Friends League
There really is nothing better than summer in Colorado. Concerts at Red Rocks, patio-dining, Sunday bike rides, festivals and farmers’ markets have me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, we Coloradans love sharing our favorite summer activities with our pets – so with the dog days upon us, I want to share a few tips and reminders to make sure our pets are as happy and relaxed all summer as we plan to be.
Let’s see some ID. If you remember one thing this summer, let it be this: Make sure your dogs and cats are wearing proper identification in the form of an ID tag, microchip, or preferably both. If you haven’t updated their microchip registration in a while, now’s the time to do so. Summer is undoubtedly the busiest time of year for animal shelters across the country – because warmer weather means more open doors and windows, and the risk of pets getting lost increases (even for the most responsible pet owners). Let’s not forget seasonal thunderstorms and fireworks, which can be upsetting for many pets and cause them to flee. Here’s a Not-So-Fun Fact: More pets end up at shelters on July 5th than any other day of the year. Proper identification will help ensure that if your pet gets lost, you can be reunited.
The heat is on. We all love to have our dogs with us when the sun is shining, but this time of year you should never, ever leave your co-pilot in the car. Not even in the shade. Not even if the windows are down. Not even for five minutes. Cars heat up fast, and heatstroke can be fatal to Fido. You also want to be aware of hot asphalt. A dog’s paw pads are more sensitive than you might think, so if it’s too hot for you to walk on with bare feet, you can bet your pup doesn’t want to either. It’s best to walk your dog in the early morning or evening instead of the middle of the day when temperatures are hottest. Be aware of your dog’s limits when exercising too – they don’t always know when to call it quits, so be wary of heat exhaustion. And it seems like a no-brainer, but make sure your pets have plenty of water at all times to prevent dehydration.
If you’d like to read up on more summer safety tips, visit ddfl.org. Happy summer, Colorado – here’s to enjoying our pets and our beautiful state!