A dog enjoying a safe summer at the beach, watching some surfers in the distant waves.

It’s finally summer. Hot sunny days coupled with warm ocean breezes equal perfection for outdoor fun. For your outside pets, however, it may not be ideal. You know they love to go where you go and play where you play. At Surfside Animal Hospital, we encourage you to help them stay cool, hydrated, and safe from outside summertime dangers.

Cool, But Not Dry—That’s the Goal!

It’s a hard choice to leave eager pets at home while you go outside to play in the sun. They act like you’ve committed a horrendous crime by leaving them behind, but they don’t know the dangers of being too long in the summer heat. If you bring your pet with you, can you keep them cool under summer sun and hydrated, too?

Beach and boat

The unrelenting sun will hurt your pet. Their skin can burn, they can easily overheat, and paw pads can blister from prolonged contact with hot surfaces. If you take your pet to the beach or on a boat, consider the following:

  • If there is no natural shade, provide a popup-tent or other artificial option to get them out from under direct sun.
  • Keep water bowls clean, filled with fresh water (not from the lake or ocean), and in an accessible, shady area.
  • Keep walks short to and from the beach or boat.

Pet Yard Safety

If your yard is fenced, there is adequate shade, and access to clean, fresh water, your pet should be comfortable, cool, and happy outside. Just remember:

  • Do not leash/chain your pets outside.
  • Many dogs love a kiddie pool for cool lounging. Keep the water clean and out of direct sunlight.
  • If your yard is not fenced, limit your pet’s outside time to walks during cool hours of the day.

No Salt In My Water, Please!

Ocean water is salty and will make your pet sick. Lake water could be contaminated with unknown toxins. Don’t fill your dog’s water bowl with ocean or lake water.

Burning Sands Can Harm Your Pet’s Paws

A run on a wet beach is great for you and enjoyable for your dog. They love to play in the waves and trot along beside you. The walk to the beach can be brutal on your pet’s paws, however, so be sure to limit beach walks and runs to early morning and evening hours.

Don’t Eat the Jellyfish and Other Pet Safety Summer Tips

If it stinks, it’s lunch. That’s what your dog thinks. They do not consider the health consequences from what they eat. Dead fish, garbage on the beach, spilled liquids, all are opportunities for Fido to feast. Each could be highly toxic and make your pet deathly ill. Other things to think about when your pet is outside in summer heat:

  • Limit trips in the car. It is never recommended that you take an animal anywhere in the car if temperatures are 70 degrees or higher. Even with the windows open and fresh water available, your dog could overheat in minutes. Soaring temperatures in vehicles can cause brain damage and death.
  • Always carry a leash. Even if your dog is allowed to run free, emergencies can happen. If they do, you’ll want to secure your pet quickly.
  • Keep high-energy activities to cool hours so your pets don’t overheat.

In An Emergency, We’re Here For You and Your Pets

If you think your pet is sick from the sun or something they ate, call us immediately at (760) 439‑5500. We’ll tell you what to do in the moment and prepare for your arrival.

We’re here for you and your pets in emergencies, for wellness checks, and other veterinary services. Schedule a wellness appointment today and ask us about pet summer safety resources.