Summer Pet Care

The hot, humid days of summer are almost upon us and we’re all looking forward to outdoor picnics, street festivals, fireworks and long weekends. The outdoor activities and nice weather that we enjoy may not be so enjoyable for our furry friends. It’s important to keep our pet’s needs in mind during the hot summer weather. Pets can easily become overheated and dehydrated in hot weather. Pets should not be left in cars for any period of time in hot weather. Make sure to limit your pet’s exercise to early morning and late evening when the temperature is cooler. Even then, limit the amount of activity to make sure your pet does not become overheated. Animals are not able to dissipate heat from their body as easily as humans can. They pant to help give off excess heat and can sweat a small amount from their paw pads, but that’s it. It is very easy for animals to become overheated and suffer from heatstroke. Heatstroke is very serious and life threatening. Symptoms of heatstroke include weakness, labored breathing, frantic panting, a glazed look to the eyes, vomiting, rapid heartrate, and collapse. Any animal suspected of having heatstroke needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. Water, water, water!! Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, cool water available at all times. If you’re going on a walk, even a short one, have water with you and offer it to your pet often. Try walking in the shade or at least take breaks in shaded areas during walks. As much as we all like to show off our dogs and take them out in public for everyone to meet, street festivals and firework exhibitions are not the place. These situations are usually very stressful for animals and very hot; often with little to no shade, or water, available. Please leave your dogs at home during these events. Of course summer is a very popular time for us humans to vacation so make sure your pets are taken care of too. If you’re planning to kennel your pet make sure the vaccinations are up to date. Most boarding kennels book up quickly in the summer so be sure to make your reservation as far in advance as possible. And don’t forget that mosquitos, fleas and ticks like warm weather too. So make sure your pet is on monthly heartworm and flea and tick prevention. Pets should be on these preventatives all year, but make sure not to skip any of the warmer weather months. Have a safe and happy summer!