The summer months are upon us; we may all be eager to get outdoors, especially after being quarantined. Here are some precautions to take to protect your furry companion if you enjoy spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with them.
With summer months come hotter temperatures that can lead to overheating in our pets. Remembering important pet heat safety tips are key to keeping them cool during this time.
• Overheating symptoms 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 body temp greater than104 degrees. Brachycephalic pets with flat faces (like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Persian cats) are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively normally. These animals, as well as seniors, overweight, and those with heart or respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis, collapsed trachea, pulmonary hypertension, and laryngeal paralysis, should be kept cool in air-conditioned as much as possible.
• When the temp is high, don’t walk your dog on hot pavement. Your dog’s body heats up quickly, as they are lower to the ground, and the sensitive pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum; go early or late during the day. Give your pet a haircut, but you shouldn’t
shave the pet: The layers of animals’
coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Use sunscreen and bug repellant that is pet approved.
• Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle–not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, but it is also illegal in several states!
• Visit your vet during the earlier part of the summer for wellness checkups. Keep your pet’s current on their preventatives, as summers bring mosquitos which can cause heartworms. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworms and gastrointestinal worms (esp if they aren’t on year-round preventatives).
• Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun; be careful not to over-exercise them.
Keep your pets safe during this summer! They depend on us to provide and protect.