How To Keep Your Furry Friends Healthy & Safe This Summer

Written by Kelly Tenny  |  21. June 2014

The summer can be a dangerous time not only for humans, but for our furry companions too. It’s important to practice proper summer safety procedures and precautions, and acknowledge that our pets can be just as distressed and bothered by the heat as we are. All living creatures need to stay cool and hydrated during the brutal summer months.

Think of your pet like you would anyone else. Would you enjoy going for a long walk barefoot on asphalt that has been toasting in the sun all day? No way! You’d be frantically hopping about, letting your feet touch the ground as little as possible, in an attempt to find the nearest patch of grass for relief. The same goes for your pets! Here are some more pointers on keeping your buddies safe this summer.

  • Never leave your pets in a parked car. Even if you have the windows open, or the air conditioner on temperatures in a car can rise rapidly and cause heat stroke and irreversible damage to your pet’s health. In many states leaving your pet in a parked vehicle during severely hot weather is illegal and criminal prosecution can be taken against you.
  • Summer is prime tick season. Check with your veterinarian for the safest treatments and medications to keep those pesky ticks off of your pet. Some over the counter pet shampoos can also be effective when removing ticks but much more labor intensive. Check your furry friends for the little buggers whenever they come back inside.
  • Make sure you always have clean, fresh water available for your pet. If you’re going out on a walk make sure to bring along enough for the both of you. At home leave some out in a bowl in case they need to rehydrate.
  • Pay attention to your pet’s behaviors. If you see them panting heavily, drooling excessively, or see an increase in their heart rate these could be signs that they are overheating. Be sure to keep elderly, sickly, and flat-nosed pets, like pugs, in cool, air conditioned rooms as they are more susceptible to overheating quickly.
  • Fans don’t always cut it. Although a fan might be enough to cool you off in the summertime pets like dogs, who sweat mostly through their paws, will not be thoroughly cooled off by a simple fan.
  • If you believe your pet may be suffering from heatstroke take their temperature. Their temperature should never trump 104 degrees. If it does give them small amounts of water to drink, place ice packs or cold, damp towels on their chest, head, and neck. Don’t run cold water over them, cool water is alright but never cold water. Take them to the vet immediately.

Now go on and enjoy the summer with your furry friends!

[Source: ASPCA, HumaneSociety]

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