In summertime, the living isn’t always easy for our animal friends. Dogs and
cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating,
dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can
celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.
– A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a
must; add to that a test for heartworm, if your dog isn’t on year-round
preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your
doctor to recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
– Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle-hyperthermia can be fatal. Even
with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in
no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts
during the day.
– Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling
with your pet.
– The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or
evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.
– Street smarts: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog
standing on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive
paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
– A day at the beach is a no-no, unless you can guarantee a shaded spot and
plenty of fresh water for your companion. Salty dogs should be rinsed off
after a dip in the ocean.
– Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a
properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside
during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.
– Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather.
Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers,
Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases,
should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
– When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been
sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. And please be alert for
coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are
attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be
fatal. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at
(888) 426-4435 if you suspect that your animal has been poisoned.
– Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with
heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length-never down to the skin,
please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun-helps prevent
overheating. Cats should be brushed often.
– Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is
not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products
can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse
of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
– Having a backyard barbecue? Always keep matches, lighter fluid, citronella
candles and insect coils out of pets’ reach.
– Please make sure that there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in
your home through which animals can fall or jump.
– Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets, which include excessive
panting and drooling and mild weakness, along with an elevated body
For a lot of families, summertime means swimming time. If your pooch will be
joining you on your adventures, be it lakeside, oceanside or poolside,
please read our following tips:
– Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool.
– Not all dogs are good swimmers, so if water sports are a big part of your
family, please introduce your pets to water gradually.
– Make sure all pets wear flotation devices on boats.
– Try not to let your dog drink pool water, which contains chlorine and
other chemicals that could cause GI upset.