Summer is fun for everyone, but the hot weather can be dangerous for people and pets alike. Unfortunately, our pets can’t always let us know when something is wrong. Here are some warm weather pet care tips to consider when enjoying the summer heat. Always keep an eye on your pets, and check with your vet if you think something may be wrong. Have a great summer!
Make sure your pet is on a flea, tick and heartworm prevention routine. There can be an increased danger of these pests in the warm weather months, especially if your pet spends more time outdoors or around other animals. Dogs and cats should be treated for flea and tick prevention if they spend time outside. Even if only your dog is outdoors, treat your indoor cat, because the dog can bring the ticks or fleas inside. If your dog is not on a year round heartworm regimen, the vet can test him and prescribe preventative meds.
Animals don’t regulate body temperature in the same way that we do. Humans perspire to cool off the skin. Dogs, on the other hand, expel heat by panting, and can only sweat near their paws. This can be less efficient, so your dog may overheat quickly. Add that to the thick coats some breeds have to withstand cold temperatures, and your dog can suffer from heat related illness and dehydration in the summer months. Make sure your dog has water and shade available outside, and bring him into the (cooler) house if temperatures rise. When playing or walking, let your pet rest if he appears tired. Keeping your pet groomed properly can help, but talk to your vet before shaving or trimming too much, coats protect some breeds from the sun.
Know the symptoms of heat related illness in dogs
Excessive panting, drooling, weakness, labored breathing, increased respiration, stupor, staring, vomiting, and/or diarrhea can all be linked to overheating. Flat-faced animals, older pets, or those in poor health can be in more danger.
If you get a new pup and you have a pool (or if you get a new pool), supervise your pet around the water, at least at first. Make sure your dog does not drink pool water, it contains dangerous chemicals. Some dogs are great swimmers, but others may not be. They may jump or fall into a pool and not know how to get out. If your dog enters your pool, show him where and how to safely get out. Keep chemicals locked away and out of reach. That goes for other outdoor products as well- insecticides, weed killer, fireworks, citronella products, and others can be harmful if ingested or even if they come in contact with skin.
Hot asphalt can be extremely dangerous for your dogs exposed paws. Shorten walks, and limit longer walks to the early morning, before asphalt heats up. Or take your dog off the pavement, and go for walks in wooded or grassy areas.
Never, ever leave your pet in a parked car. Even in 60 degree weather, the inside of a car can reach into the 110s. In the sun and summer heat, even with the window cracked, a car can become life threatening in only 15 minutes.