The season for outdoor fun is here—and with it comes a number of reasons to be proactive with pet care. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips to help you identify potential pet concerns as the summer fun unfolds.
Protect your pet’s paws from hot surfaces
Have you ever walked barefoot across asphalt, concrete, or sand on a hot, sunny day? Ouch! Your pet’s paws are just as sensitive to this heat as your bare feet are. To avoid these blistering hot surfaces, walk your pet during the cooler morning or evening hours, or stick to grass and other surfaces that stay cooler.
Keep your pet safe and cool
Dogs and cats are particularly susceptible to heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition. To keep your pet cool, provide plenty of water and shade or keep them in a cool, air-conditioned room.
Bring plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet to drink. Salt from ocean water and microscopic parasites in lakes, streams, and puddles can make your pet sick. While most dogs can swim, not all dogs are meant for a life in the water.
Flat-faced dog breeds, like French Bulldogs or Pugs, often struggle to swim because of their short snouts and broad chests. If your pet is a swimmer, keep an eye on them and make sure they have an easy way to get out of the water— you can also get a life jacket for your furry friend.
Signs of heatstroke:
- Panting or salivating excessively
- Staggering or walking unsteadily
- Deep red or purple tongue
- Dry gums
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid pulse
What to do if you suspect your pet has a heatstroke:
- Move your pet to a cooler area
- Avoid sudden cooling (like putting your pet in an ice bath)
- Do cool them down with cool water or place a cool damp towel on their back
- You can also apply isopropyl alcohol 70% to their paw pads. Its rapid evaporation will help cool your dog.
- Allow them to drink small amounts of water
- Immediately call your veterinarian for further instruction
Keep your pet’s ears dry
Does your dog love to play in the water during the summer? It’s a great way to cool off, but also a great way for them to wind up with an ear infection, especially for dogs with floppy ears. Drying your pup’s ears with a towel after they play in water helps prevent ear infections. It’s also a good idea to use an ear cleaner made for dogs and cats.
Never leave your pet in the car
It’s no secret that pets and cars on a sunny day do not mix. The temperature inside a vehicle is drastically warmer than the temperature outside, even with the windows cracked. If you see a pet in danger, say something:
- Alert business management
- Call police or animal control
- Record vehicle information: make, model, color, license plate
- Stay with the pet until help arrives—you can save a life!
If you’re looking to go out with your dog this summer keep these tips in mind. You can enjoy the summer with your dog safely with these few simple tips.