Summer Tips

It’s great to enjoy summer with your pet, but it’s also the time when they have the greatest risk of injury and heat-related health problems. So here are some tips on keeping things cool this summer.

Don’t encourage exercise during the hottest part of the day. Watch out for hot pavements and beaches. Sensitive paws burn easily. Shorthaired pets and those with pink skin and white hair are especially susceptible to sunburn. Limit their exposure.Watch for signs of heat stroke. Such signs include rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles, a dazed look. Wrap them in a towel soaked with cool, not cold water. In severe cases, place them in a bathtub. Heatstroke can be fatal. Get the pet to the clinic as quickly as possible. Never leave your pet in a parked car. Cracking the windows or parking in the shade does not make it safe. On a 70o day, the car temperature can rise above 150o in minutes. It’s extremely dangerous and the number one cause of heat stroke. Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting. Provide plenty of water. Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouth and nose helps lower body temperature. For indoor pets, keep the air circulating with a childproof fan or air conditioner. Provide shade for outdoor pets. A gentle sprinkle from a hose is always appreciated.

Not every dog can swim. Animals in the water for the first time should be eased in, never thrown in or chased in. Don’t let them drink from pools, streams, or the ocean. If they swim, rinse them off. Salt and minerals can damage a dog’s coat.Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid environments. Ask for the best preventive program for your pet. Be sure your pet has been heartworm tested and is on heartworm prevention. Also remember that this is the season when pets come into contact with other animals. Make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations.

Be cautious of pesticides and herbicides in and around your yard. Read the precautions for lawn chemicals carefully and keep pets away from newly treated yards. If pets come in contact with chemicals, wash their feet, abdomen, & chest thoroughly. Have fun with your pet this summer, but always remember to use common sense!