Tips for a safe, stress-free summer for your pet

Summer pet safety tips
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 10:14:45-04

HELENA — With warm weather, plenty of sunshine, fireworks—summer and the Fourth of July can be a lot of fun for people, but not all of that is great for pets. Loud noises and heat can be stressful or even downright dangerous.

There are steps you can take to make this summer safe, calm and fun for your pet.

“Some pets are very sensitive to fireworks and loud noises,” Apex Animal Hospital associate veterinarian Dr. Autumn Harris said. “Keep them in a safe, secure place whenever fireworks are going to be going off.”

Along with keeping the environment safe and calm, you can also buy a thunder vest—it’s a piece of clothing that wraps around your dog, and Harris said it can help make them feel secure during loud events like summer thunder storms or fireworks.

Medication can help too.

“Trazodone is a great medication,” Harris said. “It’s very safe, and you can use it on an as-needed basis.”

But fireworks are just one thing you and your pet might deal with this summer. Heat can also cause problems.

If your dog likes to spend extra time outside this summer, or if you take your dog on hikes, be aware of overheating. If not treated, Harris said overheating can be deadly.

Some signs to lookout for are excessive panting, gums and tongue turning pale or a blue color, or if your pet collapses.

“If you’ve gotten to the point where they collapse, you would want to try and get them to the vet,” Harris said.

Some ways to avoid this—make sure there is shade where your dog can cool off if they’re outside, take breaks while hiking, and have plenty of water available. Those are just a few tips to keep in mind to help you pet have a safe, stress-free, healthy summer.