Summer Pet Care Suggestions

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your pet, but your pet can also suffer from heat-related health problems. Here are some tips to keep things cool for the summer.

Watch for signs of heatstroke. Rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles, and lethargy can be signs of heat stress or heat stroke. If you suspect heat stress or heat stroke, wet your dog with cool water and call the office immediately. Heat stroke can be fatal so fast action is warranted.

Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even cracking a window does not allow sufficient cooling.

Always provide plenty of fresh water to your pets. This allows them to stay well hydrated and cooler. Dogs can only sweat through the pads on their feet and by panting. When dogs pant more to cool themselves, they lose more fluids through evaporation.

Watch for hot pavement and beaches. This can lead to burns on foot pads.

Make sure pets have plenty of shade and circulating air. Indoors, a child-proof fan or air conditioning will keep animals cool. Dogs with a pushed-in face (known as brachycephalic breeds) have a harder time staying cool while panting. For these dogs, it is vital to provide air conditioning.

Pesticides and herbicides are more commonly used during the summer. Be sure to read the precautions on all labels and follow instructions regarding pet exposure carefully. If pets come in contact with chemicals, wash their feet, abdomen and chests thoroughly; then contact us.

Allergies are more common during warmer months. If your pet itches or sneezes, your pet may be reacting to an allergen from pollen, grass or weeds. Your pet may need medication to help reduce itching.

If you have a pool, make sure your dog is supervised when around the pool. Pets can drown in home pools or hot tubs. Any dog should be introduced gradually to water/swimming so as to help the dogs learn how to swim. Do not leave dogs unsupervised around standing water. Not all dogs have enough strength to swim at depth for long.

Short-haired pets and pets with pink skin and white hair are especially prone to sunburn. These animals should have limited exposure during peak sun intensity. Sun tan lotion can be applied to the ears.