Warm Weather Pet Care
In the spring and summer (depending on your region), pets can suffer from the same problems we humans can in the heat. Here are a few tips to help you make sure they are safe and comfortable:
Car Safety – NEVER leave your pet in the car during the summer heat. Even if your car is not in direct sun and the windows are open, the interior can heat up to dangerous temperatures in only a matter of minutes. Exposure to these extreme temperatures can cause brain damage, heatstroke, and ultimately, death.
Water Safety - Many pets drown each year in backyard swimming pools and in local lakes. If you have a pool or if you live near a lake, it is best not to let your pet outside unattended. If you are able, put a fence up between them and the water. If you have a pool, take your pet into the water and guide it to the steps, repeatedly, until it learns how to find its way there on its own. Consider buying a doggy life vest - especially if you take your pet boating.
Sun Safety – Pets can get sunburns, too! If you have a long-haired dog and want to give him or her a “summer cut”, make sure their hair is left at least an inch long to protect their sensitive skin. Brush your cat often to remove excess hair. Consider using a SPF 15 or higher sunblocker on your pet if they will be in the sun for extended periods of time. Make sure to put some on those sensitive noses!
Heat Safety – Some breeds – especially those with short noses like bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, lhasa apsos and shih-tzus, have a very difficult time breathing in the summer heat. Keep them in an air conditioned house as much as possible. Older pets and pets with health conditions should also be kept out of the heat.
Exercise Safety – Take your pet out early in the mornings or late in the evenings when it is coolest. Don’t take them for walks immediately after meals, and take along some drinking water. Your pet’s paw pads can be burned if they stand on hot asphalt. Try to keep them on shaded walkways.
Chemical Safety – Cars tend to leak fluids in the summer, like coolant, which can be fatal to your pet. Pool chemicals are also more likely to be accessible. Be alert! If you suspect your pet has ingested something dangerous, call your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline immediately.