Summer is the time most people associate with fun, sun, vacations and more time to spend with the family. Local parks, boardwalks and streets fill up with people and their pets just out enjoying the days. We love this time of year, it’s always fun to stroll along and meet new friends!
Taking advantage of the warm weather and longer days is what summer is all about, however it’s important to be mindful of the hot temperatures. It has become second nature to carry water everywhere as we know the importance of hydration. It is just as urgent you are aware of the hazards the heat has on your pets and you must make it a priority to keep your dog cool!
The most common summer hazards include dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn, all of which can be prevented with a little extra TLC! Below are a few essential things to know about summer heat and hazard prevention. Most importantly, be aware of your dog’s behavior. You know your dog best so you would be the first person to spot any signs of unusual reactions or illness. If you have any doubts, call your Vet right away.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN A CAR
We know you all know this, yet despite the warnings every year there are so many dogs that get ill or even die as a result of being left alone in automobiles. This is just heartbreaking and so unnecessary! The temperatures inside the vehicle can rise in minutes to very dangerous levels even if it doesn’t seem that warm out. The simple way to avoid any problems is to leave your pet home. If there is a reason that your pet must come along for the ride, call a friend or family member to come with you so they can stay with your pet either in the running car with climate control, or in a shady spot in a nearby area. Always have fresh cool water on hand.
BE MINDFUL OF HOW LONG YOU SPEND OUTDOORS
Summer is a fantastic time to spend quality time outside with your pet. Just be aware of the temperatures, sun and your pet’s behavior. The best times for those easy strolls are early in the morning and evening when it is cooler. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, aside from heat stroke; dogs can get sunburn just like us! Sunscreen is advised. In addition be aware of the hot pavement and make sure you protect those paws! An easy way to tell if the pavement is too hot is to put your barefoot down and take a few steps. If it is uncomfortable for you, it will probably be uncomfortable for them! On extremely hot days avoid too much activity. Over exercising and long walks can be dangerous and put your pet at high risk of dehydration and heat stroke. No matter how long you plan on being outdoors always have a shady spot in mind and plenty of fresh cool water.
Not all dogs are excellent swimmers so stay close by when your dog is out playing in the ocean, lakes or deeper pools. Don’t allow your dog to drink the water. Ponds and lakes can contain bacteria and parasites. Salt water can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Any activities that require you to wear a life vest is a good indication that your pet should have one too! Always bring along plenty of fresh, cool water.
Unfortunately we are not the only ones that take advantage of the warm weather! The more time you spend outside the more risk you run to expose you and your pets to many kinds of parasites. We encourage keeping your dog on a flea control and heartworm regimen. This will help avoid flea problems and infection due to mosquitos which are known to carry many diseases, heartworm being one of them. ALWAYS check your pet for ticks after every outdoor excursion! We cannot stress that enough. It takes just a few minutes to do a thorough inspection. Diligence can prevent a host of disasters, lyme disease being the most common.
Armed with the right information, taking preventative steps and remaining aware will give you the upper hand in the battles you face during the summer months. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the wonderful weather and get out there with your best furry friends and have some fun!
Don’t forget the water!!