After being cooped up in the house all winter, most of us can’t wait to get out and enjoy the warm weather—and often we want to take our pets with us. But overdoing it in hot weather can be dangerous for your pets. Here are some precautions to help prevent your pet from a variety of summer dangers.
Everyone wants a green and weed free lawn, but lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested. When walking with your pooch, stay away from areas that have been sprayed with chemicals—these are generally marked by lawn and garden pros. Also, keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, call your vet immediately.
When the temperature is very high, don't linger on hot asphalt with your dog. Your pup’s body heats up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Get in Shape
Yes—get out with your pet (we suggest Yappy Hours), but take into consideration the time you are doing it. When it’s extremely hot outside, keep them indoors. And, because pets get dehydrated quickly, be sure to bring enough water for you and Fido.
Know the Warning Signs of Overheating
Watch for heatstroke symptoms such as:
Other signs include seizures, bloody stool and an elevated body temperature of more than 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces such as pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible because they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. If your pet shows any of these symptoms, get him or her out of the heat, preferably into an air-conditioned vehicle, and then to a veterinarian immediately.
Quench Their Thirst
Make sure pets have plenty of fresh, clean water as they can dehydrate quickly.
If you’re like some of our board members, you friends may know that if they invite you to a backyard summer BBQ, they also invite your pet. But, make sure your friends know that the food they enjoy should not be a treat for your pet, as they may give your dog or cat upset stomachs, or other digestive ailments. And, it’s never funny to give an animal alcohol—they can cause intoxication, depression and comas.
Feel free to trim your dog for the summer but be careful: layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
I'm sure many of you bring your pets to join in on the family vacation fun. Just like we need to be safely secured in a car, so do our pets. They should travel in an appropriately sized crate or in a harness secured to a seat belt. And never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle, as they overheat quickly.
Visit the Vet
Make sure your pets are tested for heartworm, parvo and other worms. You may also want to talk to your vet about a tick control program.
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool or in a boat at the lake—not all are good swimmers. If water is your second home in the summer, be sure to properly introduce your pet to the water. You may also want to consider purchasing pet specific water safety vets. Also, if your pet is swimming in a pool, try to keep them from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.