Playing It Cool: Tips For A Safe And Fun Summer With Your Pets

well-nat-iStock_000045705756_LargeAfter a long, hard, New England winter it’s safe to say that most of us are ready to enjoy all that summer has to offer, and chances are that our pets feel the same way. While soaking in the warm weather is something that many pet parents look forward to, intense sun and rising humidity can be uncomfortable and downright dangerous for our four-legged friends. Follow these tips for summer pet safety to beat the heat and enjoy the dog (and cat) days of summer with your pet.

Give Us A Call

Make sure your pet is up-to-date on his or her vaccines and parasite preventatives and is healthy enough overall for a dose of fun in the sun. Call us to schedule a wellness exam before summer gets into full swing.

Hydration Is Key

Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your pet both outdoors and indoors. We recommend at least one bowl per pet, plus one, indoors and out. Also, be sure to bring a water bowl for your pet to drink from whenever you and your pet are out walking or playing.

Take It Easy

You may choose to torture yourself with a midday run in the sizzling heat, but don’t force your pet to join you. On hot days, limit outdoor exercise to morning and evening hours and bring water for your pet to drink. Direct sun can heat asphalt and dirt to dangerous temperatures, so try to walk Fido in the grass whenever possible.

Just A Trim!

Some longhaired dogs benefit from having their coats trimmed in the summer months, but don’t shave your dog. Layers of fur help to protect dogs and cats from overheating and sunburn. Brush your pet’s fur on a regular basis to rid him or her of excess hair without exposing skin to the sun’s rays.

Party Animals

If you’re planning on taking your pooch to a backyard barbeque or party, be aware that many foods commonly enjoyed at parties can be toxic to pets, including alcohol. Keep food and garbage covered and away from pets and make sure well meaning guests aren’t slipping tidbits to your dog under the table.

Know The Signs

Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or drooling, difficulty breathing, weakness and increased heart rate. If you suspect that your pet is overheating, quickly bring them inside to a cool area and drape them with a damp, lukewarm (not cold) towel. Call us right away and we will help you determine if your pet needs medical attention.

Last But Not Least

Don’t ever leave your pet inside a parked vehicle, even with the windows down or parked in the shade. On a warm day, the temperatures inside a parked car can skyrocket in minutes and an animal left inside could quickly succumb to the devastating effects of heatstroke, which include irreversible organ damage or death.

Special Concerns For Distinguished Seniors

Older dogs and cats aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as effectively as younger animals. Take extra care to protect your senior pet from conditions that could cause dehydration or overheating. When not outside for exercise (only in the early morning or evening on hot days) keep your elderly dog or cat indoors where it is cool and comfortable.

Questions or concerns? Give us a call. We hope you and your furry friends have a safe and happy summer!

posted in:  Pet Safety