It is fair to say that the weather this summer has been extreme – excessive heat followed by excessive rain and fierce storms. Despite these changing weather systems, summer is a wonderful time for sharing the outdoors with your pets. By following a few pet safety tips, you can keep your animal friends healthy while enjoying the months of sun and fun.
- Never leave your pet in the car, even with the air conditioning running. The sun can raise the temperature inside your car to life threatening levels. • When you are outside of your own home or yard enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will prevent them from getting lost, fighting with other animals, and eating and drinking ‘contraband’.
- Water, water everywhere. Whether you are indoors or out, your pet needs access to fresh water during the summer. Check your pet’s water bowl several times a day to be sure it is full. If you and your furry friend venture out, bring plenty of water for both of you.
- Pets need sunscreen too. Although fur protects your pet, light coloured pets can still suffer from sunburn. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those in people, including pain, peeling, and skin cancer. When you do go out, rub sunscreen on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, around their muzzle, and the tip of their nose.
- Say no to tangles. Keeping your pet well groomed will enable their hair to protect them from the sun and insulate from the heat. We recommend comfort clips for thick or long-haired pets in summer. The added advantage with clipped fur is that dreaded ticks are easier to spot.
- While exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which in turn helps their body to stay cool, overdoing it can cause them to overheat. Keep walks to a gentle pace and make sure they have plenty of water.
- Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so ensure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days.
- Ensure outdoor pets have plenty of shade.
- Watch for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke call us immediately. Lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, warm dry skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, inability to respond to commands and collapse.
Summer does not have to be fraught with peril. With ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy the long, hot dog-days of summer. Remember, the best cure is prevention, and Fido and Fluffy are relying on you to keep them out of harm’s way. Please phone us if you are concerned.