Summer is on the horizon and with it high temperatures and plenty of sun. It sounds great, however it can cause problems for pets. So, how do your prep your pet for the warmer weather and what do you need to do and avoid during this time – this article explores this.
- Never leave your dog in the hot car, ever! You’ve likely heard this a thousand or more times, however, you need to know that it only takes a few short minutes for your beloved pet to be affected by the heat in a hot car. They can rapidly develop heat stroke and suffocate. According to Phil Brown of Pinnacle Auto Glass, on a 78 degree day, the car temperature can soar to 90 degrees even if you’re parked in the shade. If you’re parked in the sun it can peak out at over 160 degrees. If you can’t leave your dog at home, take along a water dish, fresh water and plan to take your dog with you each time you leave your car.
- Protect your beloved dog from fleas, ticks and from mosquitoes. All of these parasites can put your dog at risk for Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Heartworm and many other dangerous conditions. Remember, these conditions can be contagious to humans as well.
- Remember that asphalt and metal can be very hot on sunny days. Keep your dog cool, especially his or her paws. Keep your dog off of the hot asphalt and off of hot metal like in the bed of a pickup truck. Avoid overheating your dog. You don’t want your pet to overheat and if your dog is in a pickup truck, remember he or she can easily fall out or be injured or killed if there is a wreck.
- Ensure that your dog always has fresh drinking water and plenty of shade. Dogs get thirsty and must have plenty of fresh water. The only way a dog can cool itself is to pant and drink plenty of water. Offer plenty of shade and water and avoid taking your dog out in the heat of the day. Even if your dog likes to lie in the sun, they can still get heatstroke so limit their sun exposure just like you limit your sun exposure.
- Invest in a kiddy pool for your dog. When dogs love the water they can cool themselves off in the pool. Even in the heat of the day a dog that plays in a kiddy pool will cool off and have a great time doing it.
- Never assume your dog is a good swimmer. Just because your dog knows how to swim doesn’t ensure that he or she is a good swimmer. Just because your dog plays in a kiddy pool doesn’t mean you should let them in the big pool. He or she may not be able to get out and could easily drown. If your dog can’t get in and out of the pool on their own, never allow them near the pool unsupervised.
- Dogs can get sunburns. If your dog has a light or short coat he or she is at a higher risk for a sunburn. Just as if you’re sunburnt, it can be painful. Avoid overexposure to the sun and remember that dogs can also get skin cancer. Ask your veterinarian about sunscreens for your dog. Never just use any sunscreen, ask your vet first.
- Keep your dog on his or her leash if there is no fence. With summer there are many great exciting smells and lots of great places to explore. Don’t lose your dog to exploring when you could’ve easily prevented him or her from getting lost. Remember, your dog isn’t meant to be on a leash, but sometimes you have to use a leash to protect your pet.
- Don’t let your dog become obese. Over the winter, your dog, just as you sometimes do, can gain a few extra pounds. Summer is the time to get out and moving to reduce this extra weight. Pets that have a healthy weight will live approximately 2 to 3 years longer than those that are overweight. Exercise is good, just don’t let your dog over exert. Ask your veterinarian what your dog should weigh. Make sure your dog has plenty of playtime and exercise.
- Use window screens. Ventilate your house but don’t let the dog out. You want to be there when your dog is out, so make sure that he or she can’t jump out of an open door or window.
These tips will help you to ensure your dog is safe and that he or she isn’t uncomfortable. Keep these tips in mind and your dog should be safe. Check our tips on fireworks as well.