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summer pet safety

Summer Pet Safety: 5 Best Practices

Keeping your pet safe and happy in the summer requires a few extra steps. You can review the best tips for summer pet safety with our Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic team. We offer veterinary services in Tucson, AZ. Find out more by calling us at 520-889-9643

1. Keep Your Pets Out of Hot Cars

The temperatures outside can quickly shoot past 100 degrees in Tucson during the summer months. Cars, even if you have the windows cracked, intensify this heat. Temperatures can climb by more than 20 degrees in only a few minutes, representing a health risk for your furry friend. 

Cats and dogs do not sweat, so they overheat more quickly. Ten minutes in a hot car can have deadly results for pets. If you do leave your pet in a hot car, keep an eye out for these symptoms associated with heatstroke: 

  • Shallow panting
  • Tacky gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy 

Get your pet to a vet as quickly as possible if you notice any of the above. 

2. Monitor Pets Around Pools

Part of summer safety involves ensuring safe pool usage. Cool water can feel very tempting on a warm day, even to our animal companions. They often jump into or enter pools in an attempt to cool down and stay comfortable. 

However, many pets have a difficult or impossible time getting out of a pool once they get in. Therefore, monitor your pets around above or below ground pools to ensure they do not drown. 

3. Watch Out for Parasites

Many pets spend more time outside in the summer months, enjoying the sun and pleasant weather. Unfortunately, fleas, ticks, and other parasites also become more active during this time of the year. Apply flea and tick medications to your pets as recommended and check them regularly for signs of parasites. 

4. Give Your Pet Shade and Water

If your pet spends time outside, make sure they have access to both water and shade. Because pets don’t sweat, they have a more challenging time regulating their temperature through the hottest parts of the day. 

If you believe your pet may have gotten too hot but not yet experienced heatstroke, you may wipe them down with a moist cloth. This strategy helps simulate the cooling effects of sweat, allowing your pet to cool down more quickly. 

5. Bring a Travel Bag if You Go on a Trip

Summertime represents a chance for you to get out and enjoy the world. If you bring your pet with you, it’s good to pack a specialized pet travel bag. Include things like: 

  • Fresh water
  • Food
  • Travel bowls
  • Toys
  • Treats 

You may also consider including first-aid items to keep your pet safe. 

Learn More About Summer Pet Safety

Do you want more summer pet safety tips? Reach out to us to learn more and discuss your other pet care needs. We handle general appointments, problems with your dog’s teeth, and more. 

Call Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic at 520-889-9643 for an appointment in Tucson, AZ.

when to take your pet to the vet

When to Take Your Pet to the Vet: Top 7 Signs

Pets are a vital part of the family, but communicating with them can often be difficult. They may not be able to talk, but certain behaviors are cause for concern. For this reason, you want to be sure you can recognize the signs of distress and know when to take your pet to the vet.

If your pet begins to display any of these signs, have them come in for veterinary services in Tucson from Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic right away.

Different Eating Habits

While skipping a meal here and there isn’t usually an issue, not eating for two or more days is concerning. Often pets will do this if they have a mouth injury or are sick, or immediately following being spayed or neutered. When the opposite occurs, and your pet is unusually hungry, it may be a sign of a serious medical issue. Both are signs that your pet needs to see a vet as soon as possible.

Drinking More Water

Pets will often drink more water when the weather is warmer or activity increases. It becomes a problem if they drink excessively for several days without reasonable cause. This may be an indication of kidney disease or diabetes.

Strained Breathing

A notable sign of when to take your pet to the vet is labored breathing, fast panting, or shallow breaths. When this occurs in sync with sudden inactivity, weight loss, and coughing, it may signify a serious lung condition.


Like humans, pets will occasionally vomit to rid their bodies of something that didn’t agree with them. However, if they vomit blood for more than once in 12 hours, don’t wait too long before taking them to a vet. Vomiting that occurs along with diarrhea, lethargy, and a poor appetite can indicate dehydration or more serious conditions that require medical attention immediately.

Noticeable Eye Changes

A pet’s eyes can show signs of illness and should be seen by a vet if they remain dilated or constricted. Other indicators of when to take your pet to the vet are unusual discharge, drooping, or the third eyelid covering part of their eye.

Persistent Coughing

While an occasional cough is usually nothing to worry about, your pet will require medical attention if it continues for more than two days. There are various reasons they may be coughing, so testing would be needed to make a proper diagnosis. Common reasons your pet may be coughing include an infection, kennel cough, or something lodged in their throat.

Pet Shows Signs of Pain

One of the most apparent indicators that a pet needs to see a veterinarian is when they show signs of pain. These may include limping, flinching, yelping, crying, panting, hiding, and unwillingness to move. A vet can help narrow down the source of the pain and resolve the issue quickly.

Taking Your Pet to the Vet

Vet visits are often stressful for our pets and can lead to anxious behaviors. Here are tips when taking your dog to the vet compiled by our Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic team to make your visit as seamless as possible. Call us at 520.889.9643 today to make an appointment.

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