Summer brings long, lazy days that we can spend outside with our fur babies. Problem is, they can’t tell you when they are hot, thirsty or dehydrated. So it is up to us to sense these conditions in our furry friends to take care of them properly. They also don’t wear shoes so their feet end up being subjected to different types of hot and sharp surfaces.
Don’t you wish your fur baby could just say, “Hey Mama, it’s hot and my little feet are burning!”? This would be helpful on so many levels but they are dogs and this is simply something that will never happen.
Here are 11 tips from the ASPCA on how to deal with hot weather:
Visit the Vet: A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventive medication.
Made in the Shade: Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
Know the Warning Signs: Symptoms of overheating in pets 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 an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
No Parking! Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
Make a Safe Splash: Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
Screen Test: “During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,” says Dr. Murray.
Summer Style: Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn.
Street Smarts: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
Avoid Chemicals: Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach.
Party Animals: Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets.
Fireworks Aren’t Very Pet-riotic: Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets.