Protecting Your Pets in Hot Weather
Longer days and sunshine make us want to get the most out of summer. From hitting the trails to jumping in the pool, there are so many activities that make the hot months of the year so much fun. They can be fun for your pets, too. Just be sure to practice the right amount of caution to keep your them safe from the dangers of summer heat.
Plenty of Water
Let’s start with the obvious. Make sure your cat, dog, rabbit, or other pet gets plenty of water. They will likely consume more in the summer, so you will likely have to refill the dish more often. If your pet stays outside during the day, make sure the water is in a shaded area and that the dish cannot be easily tipped over and spilled.
Get a Checkup
It is a good idea to take your pet to your veterinarian for a checkup early in the summer. Your vet can let you know if you need to take any additional precautions based on your pet’s current state of health or breed. Flat-faced dogs, for instance, are more susceptible to heatstroke, so greater care needs to be taken to protect them.
Taking your dog for a walk is always a good idea and something you should do regularly all year round. During the hot summer months, it is best to take those walks when it is cooler, either in the early morning or later in the evening. If you are going to be walking on pavement or asphalt, you can do a simple check. Hold the back of your hand to the ground for several seconds. If it gets too hot to bear, then don’t take your dog for a walk until it cools off. Not only can your pet get heatstroke when it’s too hot, she can also get burns on the pads of her feet.
Do Your Errands Alone
It is probably best to leave your pet at home when running errands on a hot day. The last place your pet should be this summer is inside a hot parked car. The beds of pickup trucks can also get dangerously hot.
Getting your pet groomed for summer is a good idea as well. Having longer haired breeds trimmed can help cool them off. Beware of shaving your pet, though, as his fur helps protect him from getting sunburned.
Know the Signs
Your vet can tell you what to look for if you think your pet has gotten too much heat. Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness, increased heart rate or body temperature. Severe symptoms can include bloody diarrhea or vomit. If your pet develops any of these symptoms, call or go to your vet immediately.
Have a safe and fun summer with your pets!
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