It’s already summer, so your pets, like us, can also feel the heat. The summer season can be both uncomfortable and dangerous for pets and people. It’s hard to cope with increased temperatures and thick humidity. Also, things can be challenging in places with double or triple intense heat and power outages caused by storms. What do you exactly need to do during this season for your pets? We came up with this guide to keeping pets safe in Summer heat.
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Hot Weather Safety Tips
People love to spend sunny days of summer outdoors with their pet dogs. However, this can also bring danger to your furry companions. To prevent your pets from overheating, here are some following simple precautions provided by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Make sure to visit your veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up. Have your pets get tested for heartworm if they don’t have a year-round preventative medication.
Your pets can be dehydrated immediately, so give them plenty and clean water when they’re out during hot or humid weather. Also, ensure they have a shady, cool place to get out of the sun and be mindful that they do not over-exercise and keep them indoors when it’s sweltering.
Be mindful when you exercise your pet during the summer season. Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise according to the day’s temperature. Limit exercise to early morning or evening on scorching days. Be also careful with pets with white-colored ears since they are more vulnerable to skin cancer.
Be wary of the symptoms of overheating in pets. Signs like excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, and even collapse show that they are already overheating. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and a high body temperature of more than 104 degrees.
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Exotic Dogs and Cats
Your pets with exotic flat faces, like your pugs and Persian cats, are more vulnerable to heatstroke since they cannot pant. These kinds of pets, together with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible as part of keeping pets safe in summer. Some more signs of heatstroke are glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Pets in Vehicles
Remember not to leave your pets alone in a parked vehicle since it can lead to fatal heat stroke, which is illegal in most states. Don’t ever think about going them inside for just a few minutes since vehicle temperatures can rise immediately to dangerous levels. For instance, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle with the windows slightly open can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. The temperature will then reach 120 degrees after 30 minutes. Your pet will suffer organ damage and eventually die inside a hot car.
Pets Near Pools
Do not leave your pets alone around a pool since not all dogs are good swimmers. Let them gradually become familiar with water. Make sure they wear flotation devices together in boats with you. Rinse your dogs after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their furs. Ensure that they don’t drink pool water as it contains chlorine and other harmful chemicals to your pets.
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Make sure your windows are screened since they pose a real threat to your pets since they could fall out of them. Keep the unscreened windows closed and ensure the adjustable ones are firmly secured.
It is alright to trim the longer hair of your dogs but never shave them. The thick layers of your dogs’ coats protect your pets from overheating and sunburn. For cats, brushing their hair more often than usual can prevent possible problems caused by too much heat. Also, ensure that the sunscreen and insect repellent you use on your pets can be alright, so be sure to ask and consult your veterinarian first.
When the temperature in your area is very high, ensure your pets don’t stay on hot asphalt. If you let your pets stay on hot asphalt, the temperature of your pets can heat up quickly, and sensitive paws can burn. We suggest not bringing your pets during these times.
If you have barbecues at your homes, ensure the food is out of reach to your pets since they can be poisonous.
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Keep alcoholic beverages away from your pets since they can lead to intoxication, depression, and comatose. Another thing to remember is that snacks are not treats for your pets. Change of diets for your pets may give you dogs or cats severe digestive ailments. Do not give raisins, grapes, onions, chocolates, and products with the sweetener xylitol to them.
Never rely on fans for keeping pets safe in summer. Our pets respond differently, and they mainly sweat primarily through their feet. Fans are not effective for pets, unlike for humans.
Always cool your pet inside and outside. You can do popsicles meant for dogs and always provide water, whether inside or out, hanging with you. We suggest preparing a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat so you can keep them from overheating indoors and even outdoors. Soak them in cool water so they can stay cool for up to three days. Soaking them too during baths could help if baths don’t make them feel stressed.
Keep parasites off your pets. During the summer, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are everywhere. They carry tapeworms, heartworms, and diseases such as
Lyme or Bartonella can put your pet at risk and give them illnesses. Please consult your veterinarian about which medical prescriptions can be used for your pets in case they harbor these parasites.
Consider a life vest for keeping pets safe in summer. Dogs enjoy staying in cool water, pool, lake, or ocean. Be mindful and careful where you let them stay since only some of your dogs can swim well. Even though some know how to swim, they may not know how to get out of the water. Also, take note of the strong currents and riptides that can sweep and drown a dog in the sea. If you take out your dog for a ride or sail in a boat, make sure that your pets also wear a life vest with a bright color so that in case of an accident, you will be able to find them. Be sure to look out for your pets when they are near water.
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Other Tips to Keep Pets Safe in Summer:
For your pet to keep calm and prevent heating up immediately, always be mindful of their behavior. Watch out for excessive panting, breathing difficulties, weakness, or drooling. Heat exhaustion on pets can be fatal and can lead to death. To avoid this, always ensure that your pets have access to fresh drinking water and sufficient shelter for protection. Keep in mind that the sun’s shadow is also on the move. We compiled some more tips for you to take note of.
Protect Your Dog From a Deadly Summer Virus
- Canine parvovirus is a serious health matter for dogs all year-round, which can be highly infectious and fatal at most times. Dog owners should give triple care for their pooch during spring and summer since this virus usually reaches peak numbers during this season.
- Parvovirus can be transmitted from dog to dog through direct or indirect contact with poop or vomit of an infected dog and can be highly contagious. Make sure your pets are fully vaccinated to prevent obtaining this virus and contracting it since taking your dog for a walk down the street or to the park can easily place them at risk.
- Symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, severe vomiting, and bloody diarrhea that results in life-threatening dehydration.
- You must visit your veterinarian first and vaccinate your pets before letting them outside. Always consult your veterinarian for advice if you need more clarification about the condition of your dogs.
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Get Your Pet An Insurance
What else can you do to pets safe in summer? Get them pet insurance! This insurance may cover risks for your pets. Of course, if you already have one, it’s best to review your policy. You may need benefits or discounts available for your pets.
For a free consultation with Advantage Insurance Solutions in Denver, CO, contact us at (720) 221-8168.