Summer is here, and with it comes hot days that can quickly become unsafe for both seniors and companion animals.
Staying summer smart means recognizing potentially hazardous situations before they become dangerous. Fortunately, taking sensible steps to keep your pet safe can also help protect you from heat-related illness.
This list of safety information for seniors with pets will help you know what to look for—so you can enjoy the warmer days together.
Be wise about exercise
The summer is a great time to get outdoors and exercise with your pet. However, it’s important to take precautions to protect both of you from the elements. That could include everything from UV rays to high temperatures to insects like ticks and mosquitos.
Active seniors can feel the burn without getting caught in the heat by starting early in the morning or just before sundown. Fortunately, pets love getting up early—so walks and play time can start before the sun gets too high.
If you choose to exercise during the hotter parts of the day, choose lower-impact activities such as water aerobics, gardening or yoga. Consider finding a human exercise buddy or join a group activity when temperatures rise to stay fit safely.
Dehydration occurs when you don’t take in as much water as your body has lost. Both humans and pets are at risk of dehydration during hot summer months.
Remember to drink water throughout the day, but especially before and after exercise. Stop for regular water breaks in the shade to rest and hydrate your pet, and be sure to have a little water yourself during these breaks.
Dehydration can sneak up on you, especially during the hottest days of the year. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake when the mercury rises and ask your doctor about the dehydration risk of some medications.
Keep your pet safe all summer long
Many of the ways to keep your pet safe during hot summer days also keep you comfortable.
Here are some other pet safety tips for summer.
- Keep pets on the grass during walks to avoid burnt paws
- Take regular breaks in a cool, well-ventilated place
- Watch for air quality alerts if you or your pet have difficulty breathing
- Apply pet-safe sunscreen to noses, ears and bellies before going out to play
A message from our Cigna partners:
Nationwide is allying with Cigna Medicare Advantage to help you live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Cigna Medicare Advantage plans offer more benefits than traditional Medicare plans, including benefits that will support an active lifestyle. Just as you care for your pets, let Cigna Medicare Advantage care for you. To learn more about your options with Cigna, visit information.cigna.com/nationwide or call 1-866-628-3361; 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm (TTY 711).