When the summer heat starts to show up, people run into the air conditioned house, or head for the pool, but what about your pets?
Here are some good tips to keeping your pet cool in hot weather.
Avoid the high-noon heat!
In-between the hours of 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. are considered the peak heat hours of the day. If you have an older pet or one with a thick coat, consider taking walks or engaging in activities before or after these times of day.
Provide ample amount of shade and water!
Hydration is key. Both inside and outside pets should have a full water bowl at all times. Water left sitting in the hot sun doesn’t do much good. Pet owners should provide ample amounts of cool (not ice cold) water in shaded areas.
Do not leave your pets in a hot car!
You take your child out of a hot car, why not your pet as well. A car can get
as hot as an oven (some videos online
show cookies and eggs being cooked inside a hot car). Your pets cannot tell you when they are hot, so it is up to you to be responsible for their health.
Visit the Vet !
A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure
your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren't on year-round preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your doctor to recommend a safe flea and tick control program.
Know the Warning Signs !
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Make a Safe Splash!
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
Going out in Style!
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Before Puppy Cut and After Puppy Cut
The streets can get hot!
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Summer is party time… but be careful of the pooch!
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Don’t forget about the non-canine or feline pets!
Horses, birds, and other outside-only animals fall prey to the heat just as easily as dogs and cats. Remember to keep them hydrated and shaded, and to keep the exercise to cool hours of the day.