There are a number of things we can do for our pets to make the summer more enjoyable for them. It is important that as the temperature rises that we all take certain precautions to keep our animals happy and safe.
The ASPCA offers a number of tips which are summarized here.
1. Ensure you have some shady area where your pets can get out of the sun if they are outdoors.
2. Have ample fresh, clean water available for your pet.
3. Don’t overexercise them in the heat. Use the cool of the morning or the evening for exercise.
4. Keep them indoors if it is extremely hot.
5. Be aware of the signs of overheating. These include “excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.”
6. Breeds of cats and dogs with flat faces have more problems with the heat as they can’t pant as well. So keep them air-conditioned indoors.
7. The same with old, overweight or sick pets. Don’t let them get overheated outside.
8. NEVER leave your pets in a parked car by themselves for any length of time. It only takes a few minutes, even with the windows slightly open for the cab to turn into a cooker.
9. Watch your pets around a pool. Not all are greats swimmers.
10. In high-rise apartments, ensure balcony doors and windows are screened as pets, when it gets hotter, have a greater tendency to fall out of windows or doors. Take precautions.
11. Cutting your dog’s hair helps prevent overheating. Don’t cut it down to the skin but leave at least 1″ to give protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often helps as well.
12. Don’t let your pets stay too long on asphalt. It gets them too hot. If you are walking your pets when it is hot, walk on the grass.
13. Be aware of various chemicals around the house that your pet could get into such as insecticides, herbicides and other poisons.
14. At outdoor barbeque, don’t give your pet alcoholic drinks or foods that might give it stomach problems. “Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.”
15. On the 4th of July, be careful with your pets around fireworks. You don’t want to get them upset with the noise or endanger them with actual burns. They can be curious.
If you run into problems with your pet because of the heat or summertime activities, the vets at Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinic are there to help you. They are experienced with dealing with heat exhaustion and other traumas that can occur. So if an emergency happens, come down to the Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinic. We’ll take care of your pet.
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