Pet safety tips aren’t always the first thing on our mind when we talk about the summer, but they are pretty important.
Our family dog is so big and so fluffy that during the hot hot hot days of summer, you can just look at him and start sweating. Before the summer really hits, we get him a pretty good summer cut that takes about two and a half months to grow in, pretty much just in time for the weather to cool down. I always get nervous when he goes outside in the summer that he’ll get overheated – it’s clear he doesn’t want to be outside, as we open the door, he does his business and is barking right away to come back in. Two summers ago, when our central air conditioning unit broke and our house soared to about 90 degrees, we had to send our dog to boarding because we knew it would be more than he could take.
Central Veterinary Associates offers some great tips for pet owners to help ensure your pets are safe on every hot summer day.
- Prevent heat stroke and passing out — Older, overweight and sick pets should not be allowed to spend a lot of time outside in the hot weather. Even young and healthy pets should be watched closely to make sure they don’t get heat stroke.
- Look for signs of heat stroke in your pet — Because of their fur, pets are more susceptible to heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke in pets include a body temperature between 104 and 110 degrees, excessive panting, tongue and gums that are sticky and a dark or bright red color, staggering, stupor or seizures. In extreme cases, heat stroke for pets may result in bloody diarrhea, coma or death.
- Avoid strenuous exercise when it’s really hot outside — The hottest part of the day is between noon and 4 p.m., so that would not be a good time to take your pet for a walk. It is better to exercise your pet either in the early mornings or evenings when the heat is less intense. Also, avoid walking your pet on asphalt or sand, as the hot surface temperature may burn their paws.
- Maintain your pet’s water supply — Always provide a bowl of clean, fresh water for your pet, both inside and outside. Keeping your pet properly hydrated will improve their health and prevent illness.
- Do not leave pets in a home without air conditioning — Without air conditioning, indoor temperatures will reach uncomfortable and often dangerously high levels. Always keep the air conditioning and any fans on for your pets.
- Do not leave pets in a car for any reason — Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake. Even with the windows open, temperatures will rapidly climb to a dangerous level. Leaving your pet unattended in a car will expose them to heat stroke, dehydration, brain damage, suffocation and ultimately death.
We hope these pet safety tips gave you something to think about this summer!