Summer, the seemingly longest season here in Arizona, is back again. This month we have been all about taking care of your pets, to be the best cat and dog owner, and so we are continuing that thread with this: how to take care of your pet during the summer months with these summer pet safety tips!
Know and Respect the Temp
Before you decided to take Butch out on a midday walk, know the temperature outside and how that will affect them! Our dogs have a much more limited capacity to deal with heat than we, as people, do. So what may seem like a hot day, but not too hot, can quickly overwhelm our pets! Dogs release all their excess heat through panting and their paw pads but running on the hot ground will throw a wrench in that plan quickly.
That’s right your pet can benefit from sunscreen as well! Talk to your vet to see if they need/can benefit from having sunscreen. Commonly, pets with shorter, finer hair and pink skin are prone to sunburn. Speak with your vet to get a recommendation for the safest protection for your pet’s skin. DO NOT use any sort of sunscreen that is not designed specifically for use on animals. The ingestion of some sunscreens can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst, drooling in pets. Never shave your dog! Trimming up their long hair can help but their coats are made to protect them from sunburn and overheating.
Wealth of Water
The hotter the weather the faster pets can dehydrate. Make sure that there is plenty of fresh, clean water available for your pets, in a shady place. As mentioned in the earlier section, our animals don’t have the same capabilities to cool down, so ensuring they have all the help they can get is critical.
Keep an Overheating Overwatch
Knowing the symptoms for overheating is so important year round but especially in these months. Look for excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness, faster breathing or heartbeat. Symptoms can go as far as stupor, seizures, vomiting, collapse and bloody diarrhea. It is nothing to play around with! Animals with flat faces (like Persian cats and Pugs) are even more susceptible to suffering heat stroke as their built-in defenses to overheating are not as effective.
Water safety isn’t just for kids! Not all dogs are gifted swimmers (and cats, well we know how most cats are with water!) Make sure you introduce your pets to swimming gradually and if you have a pool keep it fenced in. If you take your dog out on a boat with you make sure you have them wearing proper floatation devices. Any time you take your dog swimming make sure you give them a good rinse to remove chlorine and/or the salt from their fur. Your dog will likely try to drink the pool water, try your best to discourage this! The water contains all sorts of chemicals that aren’t healthy.
While barbecues are some of our favorite activities in the season, remember there are common causes for concern for pets! There are many foods at these that are just not healthy for them to eat! Alcoholic beverages can put pets into depression and comas, anything with the sweetener xylitol (we covered recently!) grapes, raisins, onions, chocolates. Keep your pet full on their kibbles and they’ll be healthy. And a healthy pet is a happy pet!
We hope you are able to enjoy all the great activities the summer has to offer and share them, safely, with your furry best friend! Don’t forget to hit your regular check-ups and appointments during the months and continue with all preventative medicines to ensure you really are the best pet owner you can be!