Summertime is fun, but there’s no doubt it can bring scorching, humid weather, as well. From boating to backyard barbecues, most of us have big plans for the weekend, along with vacations. While it may be easy for us to gauge when the weather gets a bit too warm for our comfort, it can be more difficult when it comes to our pets. Since our furry friends can’t tell us when they’ve reached their limit on fun in the sun, it’s important for owners to bone up on summer pet safety. Thankfully, your friends at Paws, Purrs, and Exotics have removed the guesswork for you!
Preparing Your Pet for Summer Temps
Before your summer kicks into high gear, there are a few things you’ll want to ensure for your pet. Along with parasite prevention against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, it’s also a good idea to schedule a summer wellness checkup. This is especially true if you plan on traveling with your pet or if your pet is vulnerable to heat due to health or age. Next up is making adjustments to your daily routine:
- Instead of outdoor fun in the middle of the day, stick to early mornings or dusk when it’s cooler.
- Keep the water flowing by placing multiple bowls around the home.
- Consider installing misters, adding a few lawn sprinklers, and/or buying a kiddie pool for backyard splash time fun (your dog will thank you!).
- Bring water with you wherever you go, including in the car (in case of a flat tire or car trouble).
- Pets should be kept indoors on hot days; the home should be kept cool through the use of air conditioning or fans.
- Avoid too much outdoor time – especially in the sun – and give your pet frequent shade breaks.
- Bring exotic pets inside, and keep away from direct sunlight when temps hit the high 80’s or above.
- Grooming is a great way to cool off fur friends, but keep in mind that shaving your pet could set him or her up for sunburn and heat-related illnesses (fur actually helps protect the skin and keep your pet cooler).
Know the Signs of Heat Stress and Heat Stroke
Pets are especially vulnerable to overheating since their ability to regulate body temperature is not as efficient as our own. Small animals, senior pets, those with compromised health, and brachycephalic breeds are even more at risk of heat-related illnesses. Pay close attention to the following signs of heat stress:
- Excessive panting
- Increased body temperature
- Increased pulse and respiration
- Temperature over 102 degrees
- Attempts to seek out water
If these signs exist, get your pet to the nearest cool location, place a towel soaked in lukewarm water (never ice cold) on your pet’s torso/abdomen, and call us right away.
Other Summer Pet Safety Tips
Summertime brings other dangers for unattended pets. Take care to supervise your pet around water, mind your pet’s paws and skin by using booties and pet-safe sunscreen, and keep exotic pets under close watch – especially those adapted to cold climates, like chinchillas and guinea pigs. For more summer care tips, please give us a call. Since our furry friends can’t tell us when they’ve reached their limit on fun in the sun, it’s important for owners to bone up on summer pet safety.