Summer is tough on you and your pet — make sure to keep them safe with these tips
Leaving your animal in a hot car…
Never leave your pet in the car. Pets that are left in hot cars even briefly can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, and can even die. Don’t think that because you’ll be gone “just a minute” that your pet will be safe while you’re gone.
Did you know that even on a fairly “cool” 78-degree summer day that your vehicle can reach temperatures between 100-120 degrees? Or that on an average Florida summer day measuring in at 90-degrees will leave your vehicle at 160-degrees within minutes?
Every summer animals suffer from heatstroke and it consistently goes unreported. If you happen to witness an animal left inside of a vehicle unattended please don’t ignore signs of the animal experiencing distress. Act quickly and collect the vehicles model, make, and license plate number. Provide that information to the nearest building so that owner can be paged. It’s best that you do not leave the situation until either owner or humane authorities have shown up to handle the situation. In the case of an emergency, gather more than one witness to assess the situation, and take immediate action if scenario calls for quick resolution.
Exercising your animal on hot summer days…
We all know that exercising your animal daily is essential for their happiness and health! However the risk of running into heat stroke while allowing your pup to play is increased during these hot summer days.
Taking the right steps to before letting your animal play will ensure safety at all times. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn and peel your pet’s paws. So check the temperature of the surface with your hand – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Seek shade and take frequent breaks when exercising. Also, don’t forget to carry fresh water that’s made available to your furry friend during breaks!
Here are some warning signs you need to lookout for:
- Thick saliva
- Heavy panting
- Dark tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of appetite
Again, it’s absolutely essential that you supply your animal with fresh clean water, and an opportunity to rest in some shade if it’s spending any length of time out in the scorching summer sun.
Protecting your animal from sunburn…
Protect your pet from sunburn; especially light colored, shorthaired, and pink skin dogs. Limit your dog’s exposure during the day and use a sunscreen labeled specifically for animal use – on your dog’s nose and the tips of the ears 30 minutes before going outside.
If you find that your animal is experiencing sunburn from excessive sunbathing use these simple steps to providing your animal with care and relief.
- Move animal to shade or a cool place immediately
- Put cool compresses and ointments on irritated surface to soothe the skin and provide relief
- If severe, contact your veterinarian for consultation and possible medication to prevent infection
Never let your dog swim unsupervised, and limit the amount of time he spends in the water, especially if it’s deep. After a dip in a lake, pool, or ocean, hose them down to rinse the dirt, chemicals, or saltwater off their coat. And never allow your pet to drink from a pond or lake – it can make them sick.
Also, if your animal is going for a swim in a natural source of water, always ensure the water is safe for swimming. Animals have been prone to infection from bacteria existing in still waters.