Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets
Summer is the perfect time of year to experience the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather, but the heat can take a serious toll on your four-legged companion. Animal Friends has a few tips to help you beat the heat and keep your pets safe, healthy and cool during the warm months ahead.
Visit your veterinarian.
A checkup for your pet is in order this time of year. In the warmer months, your companion is at a high risk of contracting parasites, fleas and ticks, which can cause much bigger problems down the road. Preventative treatments are much easier (and less expensive!) than an emergency visit to the vet.
Practice parking lot and vehicle safety.
When the weather starts heating up, protect those paws from the hot asphalt and pavement by walking on grassy areas whenever possible. Paw pads can burn easily, especially since pets do not usually wear shoes outdoors like we do!
Your pet should never be left in a parked car. Even with the windows down, a car can quickly reach an internal temperature of more than 120 degrees, which is enough to cause severe heat stroke or worse. Your pet is much safer at home on warm days, especially if your destination is not a pet-friendly one. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, call 9-1-1 immediately.
As the temperature rises, animals need to drink much more water to stay hydrated. Be sure your pet has plenty of cool, clean water to drink, especially if they’re spending some time outside on warm days. Check water dishes frequently and be sure they are placed out of the sun’s reach in shady areas. Drinking dishes should be secured to avoid accidental spills.
Know the symptoms of overheating in pets.
Heat stress and heat stroke can be serious threats to animals – especially those who are very young, old or overweight. Pets with flat faces such as Pugs or Persian cats are at unique risk for overheating because their faces do not allow them to pant effectively. Animals can have trouble maintaining their body temperature, especially when outdoor temperatures and humidity levels are high.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, increased heart and respiratory rate, stupor and collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, along with an elevated body temperature of more than 104 degrees.
Beat the heat.
If your pet is overheated, move them out of the sun immediately and immerse them in cool water. Apply ice packs to the head, neck and chest and provide cool water for them to drink. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian immediately
If it's simply too hot to safely enjoy the weather together, try some of these enrichment activities you can enjoy inside with your pets. And, be sure to join us at Animal Friends this summer for plenty of fun classes and events (indoors and outdoors!) for you and your pets.