Sun, the beach, and lots of outdoor play with your dog or cat are all summertime traditions. Bonding with your pet can be especially beneficial during the summer. However, hotter weather also brings with it a greater danger of accidents, skin and ear infections, and heat stroke for our animal friends.
While most animals are affected by heat in a similar way to how people are, some need special attention. For example, dogs with shorter snouts, such as the Boxer, French Bulldog, Pug, and Shih Tzu, do not breathe as freely. Thus, summer can be harmful.
It’s vital to keep in mind that heat and humidity can be harmful to our dogs when the temperatures increase this summer. They are susceptible to developing sunburn, heat stroke, and dehydration, all of which are preventable. Use the following advice to keep your pets safe in summer:
Signs of Overheating
Be aware of the signs of pet overheating, which include excessive panting or breathing difficulties, higher heart and breathing rates, drooling, slight lethargy, drowsiness, or even death. Seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting can also be symptoms, as well as a high body temperature of over 104 degrees.
Give a lot of water
In the heat, dogs and cats are at risk of dehydration. When it’s hot out, our pets become much more thirsty than we are. Gums that are dry and heavy drooling are symptoms of dehydration.
Make sure your pet has access to fresh, clean water at all times inside the home, and remember to take a bottle of water with you when you go outdoors for your pet as you would for yourself. In order to increase fluid consumption during the hotter months, you might consider switch to moist dog food.
More cookouts with family and friends occur during the summer. Even while you might appreciate the foods at the family barbecue, remember that many of the items we eat as humans are poisonous to animals. The consumption of the following substances might gravely injure your pet and result in symptoms including nausea, anemia, abnormal heartbeat, and tantrums.
Recall to never provide table leftovers to your pet. Although it may be tempting to give them a delicacy off the table to show them how much you care, many of the meals we eat really have more negative effects than positive ones. Give your pet a chew made especially for them instead of a reward. We may support our pets’ year-round happiness and health by treating them with kindness and exercising caution around table scraps.
You may trim your pet’s longer hair, but never shave your pet: Dogs’ layers of fur shield them against heat exhaustion and sunburn. More frequent brushing of cats can help to avoid issues brought on by extreme heat. Additionally, make sure that any sunscreen or insect repellant you put on your pets is marked for use on animals only.
If you walk your pet, be in mind that concrete and asphalt can get very hot in the summer time. It would be comparable to you using those surfaces while wearing no shoes. You can buy coverings, wait till it becomes cooler outside, or go to a park with lots of grass to prevent their feet from becoming burned.
Don’t leave your dog out for extended periods of time, especially on hot asphalt. In the summer, the earth heats up quickly, which can cause your dog’s body temperature to rise quickly and cause burns to his delicate paw pads.
On hot days, minimize exercising
When exercising your pet in summer, use caution. Adapt your workout’s duration and intensity to the temperature. Exercise should only be done in the morning or evening on really hot days, and you should take extra caution with pets who have white-colored ears because they are more prone to skin cancer and short-nosed pets because they often have trouble breathing. If it is necessary, take your dog for a stroll on grass because asphalt is quite hot and can burn your pet’s paws. Keep water on you at all times to prevent dehydration in your dog.
Unbelievably, pets can also acquire sunburns, especially those with short or light-colored coats. Additionally, it aches and may potentially result in skin cancer, just like with people. Apply sunscreen on the least hair-covered areas, such as bellies, ears, and nose, every three to four hours if you intend to spend the day in the sun with your furry friend.
Apply only pet-specific sunscreen products. Pets have a tendency to lick it, and sunscreen for people sometimes contains zinc, which is harmful to animals and can result in a serious emergency. Your veterinarian could provide advice on the best product for your pet fur child for summer.
Do Not Leave Your Pets in a Parking Car
Not for even a minute! Not even with the air conditioner and engine running in the car. On a warm day, the inside of a car may quickly reach deadly temperatures. For instance, a car’s inside temperature with the windows partly open can rise to 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes on an 80 degree day. The air will become 115 degrees after 25 minutes. You pet could lose it or have irreparable organ damage in summer.
Keep an eye out for Critters
Summertime hiking and walking with your dog increases the likelihood of coming into unfavorable or even dangerous fauna, like skunks and porcupines.
Rattlesnakes, scorpions, and other venomous critters are a constant threat. Even if your pet just licks the toad, certain toads have poison on their skin that can be fatal. While it’s raining or dark outside, toads may emerge, so use extra caution when letting your dog out.
Test for Heartworm
Heartworm can also infect cats, even though it is frequently found in dogs. In warmer climates, heartworm disease is more frequently observed. This condition, which is easily spread through bug bites and/or contact with another infected animal, prevents the heart muscle from pumping and functioning properly. If left untreated, it may result in cardiac failure. Get your pet examined, then give him or her a heartworm preventative.
Ticks and Fleas
It’s crucial to give your pet flea and tick prevention every month or as directed on the label of the utilized product. In addition to spreading dangerous parasites and diseases like Lyme Disease, fleas and ticks can also lead to anemia. For the prevention of fleas and ticks, there are numerous methods. Consult your veterinarian to find out which product best suits your pet’s unique demands in light of its surroundings.
Dehydration and Heatstroke in Dogs
In the heat, dogs are more likely to become dehydrated. This indicates that they lose more water than they take in through sweating, urinating, and paw evaporation. While a bowl of cold water might help your dog rehydrate, in some circumstances they might require medical assistance.
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Dry gums and nose
- Thick saliva
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of skin elasticity
To help them stay hydrated, you can offer your dog an electrolyte-infused water solution. They could require fluids from a veterinarian if they continue to appear dehydrated.
Your dog runs the risk of suffering from heatstroke if they are left in the sun for too long. They require quick cooling down, and they can possibly require medical care.
Early stages of heatstroke symptoms:
- Heavy panting
- Fast breathing
- Lots of drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Trouble with balance
Advanced stages of heatstroke symptoms:
- White or blue gums
- Sluggishness or can’t move
- Uncontrollable peeing or pooping
- Labored, noisy breathing
Take your dog indoors where there is air conditioning or to a cool, shaded place if you see early indications of heatstroke. Never allow your dog’s body temperature to rise above 104 degrees F. Your dog should be fanned and doused with water until their body temperature falls below 102 degrees F. Give them a few ice cubes or modest amounts of water.
Get them to a veterinarian immediately soon if you can’t calm them down or you see symptoms of advanced heatstroke. Your dog might require medication, oxygen, and fluids.
There you have it, then! Thank you for reading our summer pet safety advice. You’ll be able to relax, have fun, and enjoy the summer with your pet once you’re ready for summer threats. Also read our winter pet safety tips.