Summer Safety Tips to Keep Your Pet from Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
By Dr. Shonda Wesson, Sunset Animal Hospital
Summer is a great time to get outside and have some fun in the sun with our furry friends but doing so without preparing your pet for the heat can be extremely dangerous for them. If you plan on spending the day outside with your pet this summer, make sure to take these precautions to have a safe and enjoyable time!
Load Up on Pet SPF (Summer Protection Factors)
Pets often don’t wear sunscreen as we do, but you can do plenty of things as an owner to make sure they’re protected from anything harmful that the summer season may bring!
Understand Your Pet
When it comes to heat, it’s important to know what your pet can and can’t handle during these warmer months. Make sure you’re aware of these symptoms of dehydration and overheating in pets:
- Excessive Panting or Difficulty Breathing
- Increased Heart Rate
- Drooling or Mild Weakness
- Sunken Eyes and/or Dry Mouth/Nose
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
For you dog owners, it’s also important to note that dogs cool by convection (evaporation), so they don’t sweat the way humans do to maintain body temperature. Their basal temperature is also higher than ours. As a result, this makes them more susceptible to heatstroke in hot, humid environments like the one we have here in Houston. Pets with flat faces are also more susceptible to heat strokes since they can’t pant as effectively.
If you plan on going on walks, keep your pet healthy and their paws safe by limiting walks to brief ones during the cooler morning and evening hours.
Have H20 on the Go
We all know how hot and humid Houston can get during the summer. Pets can get dehydrated rather quickly, so keeping clean water available for them is extremely important. Whether you’re playing outside with them, just letting them out, or sunbathing, be sure to have some water ready to keep them hydrated and cool.
Bring Your Pet in for a Summer Check-Up
Though it’s not the only season they are around, summer is prime time for heartworm and parasites. If your pet isn’t already on year-round prevention or medication, come see Sunset Animal Hospital for a quick wellness exam and preventative care so your pet can enjoy a healthy and worry-free summer this year!
Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Anytime your pet is out of the house, it’s important to always keep an eye on them to make sure they are safe. Summer is definitely not the season you want to catch yourself forgetting where you last left your fur baby!
Never Leave Your Pet in a Car
Parked cars are the last place you should ever leave your pet. Cars without A/C running heat up quickly during hot days and can lead to fatal heat strokes for your pets if they’re left unaccompanied. Not only is this dangerous, but it could also result in a criminal charge!
Mind Your Food!
We all love a good summer barbecue or cookout! However, consuming the wrong food can make for a not-so-fun time for you and your pet. Alcohol, grapes, onions, and any product with xylitol can be toxic for your pet. Read those labels and make sure you know all the people foods you should avoid feeding your pets before hosting your next big cookout!
We at Sunset Animal Hospital hope you and your furry friends enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer this year. Whether you’re going on trips together, getting fit together, or being homebodies together, our wish is that your pet gets to enjoy the longest, happiest life with the one they love the most: you. Make great memories, be safe, and we look forward to seeing you and your pet on your next visit!