Summer Pet Safety in Chicago
It’s heating up here in Chicago, but there’s so much to do! Whether you’re content just to explore Old Town’s Triangle Historic District or want to spend a day with your pet on one of the many beaches along Lake Michigan, the Windy City has a lot to offer. But before you plan your day’s excursions, you need to make sure that your pet will be safe if they’re joining you.
Refer to the guidelines below to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for your pet (and you)!
- Before you take your pet anywhere, make sure they’re properly vaccinated and taking their flea, tick and heartworm preventives.
- Avoid walking your dog on hot sidewalks and streets. If possible, invest in footwear to protect their paws or take them for walks first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening.
- Never leave your pet inside a parked car with the AC turned off. In fact, if you’re just running errands, you should leave your pet at home.
- Dogs with light, short coats are prone to sunburn. Keep them in the shade as much as you can and be sure to use sunblock (pet-friendly, zinc oxide-free sunblock) to prevent damage and the potential for skin cancer.
- Always keep your pet well supplied with fresh water so they can stay hydrated.
- Heavy drooling and panting, a rapid heart rate and vomiting can be signs of heat stroke—if your pet is showing these signs, bring them in to see us immediately.
- Don’t let your pet drink from the lake; this water contains all kinds of bacteria and parasites that can make them sick. Bring plenty of fresh water and a dish for your pet to drink from so they have what they need.
- Keep your pet on a secure leash if you take them to the park, beach, etc. Make sure they’re wearing a secure harness as well, have updated ID tags and a microchip.
- Avoid walking your pet through wooded areas where ticks and fleas may be hiding, and check your pet’s fur, ears and paws for parasites before bringing them into your house or apartment.
- Some dogs are better swimmers than others. However, we recommend getting a life jacket in your pet’s size to minimize risks when they go in the water. This is especially relevant for Pugs, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus and Boston Terriers.
- We can get some pretty severe storms up here in Chicago. If your pet is fearful of loud noises and begins to panic as soon as they sense a storm coming, talk to your veterinarian about things you can try to keep them calm. This may include a Thundershirt, Composure chews, etc.
If you need more information to help you protect your pet this summer, call us at (312) 428-2571 and we’ll answer all of your questions.