Hot Weather Tips
Hot Weather Pet Tips
Summer is officially here and we all need to adjust - even/especially our pets! Here are some tips from the ASPCA on how to safely and comfortably handle the summer heat with your pet.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time -even with the windows open - which could lead to fatal heat stroke. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool - not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his/her fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets - mostly cats - fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured. This is completely preventable if pet owners take simple precautions. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can prevent overheating for some breeds. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. (Check with your groomer or veterinarian to see if clipping would be helpful or not for your particular breed of dog.) Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. As far as skin care, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well.
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home.
For more tips and information/resources, visit http://www.aspca.org/, and to read this article in its entirety please visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/hot-weather-tips.aspx.