summer pet safetyOddly, this time of year, the very thing we’ve been looking forward to has the potential to cause health problems. In the excitement of this new season, we also need to be aware of the dangers connected to long, sunny, summer days. The heat index, (i.e., the potentially hazardous combination of extreme heat and humidity) is responsible for many seasonal fatalities. Keep your pet cool and implement summer pet safety measures. That way, your pet can enjoy (or at least tolerate) the scorching weeks ahead.

The Mugginess is Back!

It’s not uncommon to hyper-focus on parasite prevention during the summer months. However, in addition to warding off fleas, ticks, and heartworm, it’s important to also concentrate on other risks to your pet’s health and safety.

Jump start your summer pet safety with a wellness exam. We can go over preventives and vaccinations and discuss the ways your individual pet may be at risk this summer.

The Stuff of Life

When you’re enjoying the outdoors in the summer, a balanced combination of ample shade and fresh, clean water can minimize risks associated with heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Keep several dishes outside and refresh with ice cubes throughout the day.

When away from home, be prepared with water and a collapsible bowl, and find shade wherever you can.

Dawn and Dusk

The general rule is that if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. Limit exercise to the hours around dawn and dusk, and encourage your pet to walk on grassy areas instead of concrete, asphalt, sand, or rocks.

Hair of the Dog

To minimize exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays but also help your pet keep cool, a neat trim (sometimes referred to as a “summer cut”) can be a great grooming option. Plus, those layers of fur that seem so hot to us actually prevent overheating. Make sure to brush your pet’s coat regularly throughout the summer to remove loose hairs, dirt, and other debris.

Summer Pet Safety

A major part of your approach to summer pet safety should include the ability to recognize health dangers. Excessive panting, drooling, difficulty breathing, weakness, high body temps (104 degrees or higher), and increased heart rate are all indications of overheating. If you notice any of these signs, bring your pet to a cool area and drape a damp, lukewarm (not cold) towel on the neck and back. Then contact us to discuss whether it’s time to treat the situation as a pet emergency.

Pets at Risk

All pets deserve to be protected from the dangers of the sun, but senior pets, flat-faced breeds, young animals, and pets with certain illnesses or compromised immune systems need extra attention. Because these animals aren’t able to regulate body temperature as efficiently, they must remain in cool conditions with plenty of water and shade – preferably inside the home with the AC running.

And Don’t Forget…

If you have all the above summer pet safety measures in place, your four-legged friend can maximize all the fun to be had this season. Lastly, please do not ever leave your pet inside a parked car. Temperatures can soar to triple digits in a half hour or less, leaving your pet at risk of death.

If our helpful staff can answer any questions regarding summer pet safety, we encourage you to contact us. Enjoy!