Summer is prime time for enjoying outdoor activities with your pet. But as with humans, hot weather can sometimes pose a danger to Fido and Fluffy. Follow these summer safety tips to keep your pet safe as the temps heat up outside.
Know the signs of overheating. Excessive panting, increased heart and respiratory rate, difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, bloody diarrhea, and stupor all signs to watch out for. And if your pet collapses or seems to suffer a seizure, seek medical attention immediately.
Avoid the hottest parts of the day. If you want to exercise with your pet, take them out in the early morning or evening rather than the hottest part of the day. Head indoors to air conditioning if you notice any of the above signs.
Watch out for hot asphalt. It can burn your pet’s paw pads.
Offer shelter and water. Make sure your pet has plenty of water available at all times, and tote a bottle and bowl with you during outdoor activities. If your pet stays in the yard for part of the day, make sure he has shelter in the shade.
Never, ever, leave your pet in a vehicle. Every summer, we see news stories of young children dying in hot cars. While they don’t make the news as often, pets can suffer the same fate.
Exercise caution when swimming. Some dogs (and the occasional, highly unusual cat) enjoy swimming with their owners. Just remember to watch your pets and closely as you would watch children, and rinse the chlorine from their fur after a swim. Discourage your pet from drinking pool water, which contains chemicals.
Check your windows. Pets love to hang out near open windows and enjoy the breeze. But do check that screens are tightly secured, so that they don’t pop out and cause a bad fall if your pet leans against them.
Trim, but don’t shave. Long-haired dogs might appreciate a trim, but don’t shave them. Their fur actually helps to protect against sunburn and overheating. Brushing cats more often can help to remove excess fur and make them a bit more comfortable in hot weather.
Use caution with chemicals. Pesticides, insect repellents, citronella candles, and other products can be dangerous for pets. Store them out of reach, and call us or Poison Control immediately if your pet ingests something suspicious.
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Call us to schedule an appointment for a check-up. We can discuss your pet’s food, health needs, and summer safety. We will also offer preventive care for conditions such as heartworm, which is a greater risk during these months.