Summer has already set in here with over 100 degrees forecast for our hometown weekend! Whether your summer is that hot or not, you definitely need to take special precautions during these months to keep your dog healthy and safe. Today we’ve got some special tips in a guest post from Dr. Diane Pomerance. This animal behavior expert and author of author of Our Rescue Dog Family Album as well as the Animal Companions book series.
As we spend an increasing amount of time outdoors, generally so do our pets. We need to make certain that we, as well as they, are protected from the various dangers posed by the heat and other outdoor hazards including insect and snake bites, allergies and skin irritations and heatstroke from prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat.
- First and foremost, make certain that your pet is ALWAYS wearing a collar and identification tag. Microchipping your pet is also an excellent idea – as it offers an even greater chance of locating and finding your pet if she is lost.
- Keep your pet cool – monitor her when she is outdoors with and without you. Make sure she has adequate shade throughout the day – remember the sun’s position shifts, and while you may have left her in the shade, it may become sunny.
- Do not leave your pet outdoors for any extended period of time – more than an hour or two- without checking on her condition and making certain she has plenty of cool, accessible water and shelter.
- As pets get sunburned just like we do, provide her with sunscreen on her nose or ears and other vulnerable areas – especially light haired dogs with pink noses and delicate ears.
- Exercise your pets during the coolest parts of the day – early in the morning and late in the evening and for only very short intervals, if necessary, during the heat of the day. Make sure your pet does not overexert herself.
- Remember that concrete and asphalt can get extremely hot and uncomfortable during the heat of the day and can actually burn your pet’s paws.
- Protect your pet from pesticides and fertilizer, which can prove fatal if ingested.
- Enclose your pool area to protect your pet from drowning. Supervise your pets when they are near the pool.
- No matter how tempted you are to “let your pet go free”, keep her on a leash when outside the safety of your fenced in back yard – she could get lost, directly encounter and fight with other animals, and eat or ingest unsafe water and things that could make her sick.
- NEVER leave your pet in your car – even if you leave the windows partly down, the heat can rapidly rise to unsafe, even fatal levels for your pet.
- Leave your pets inside in the cool air conditioning as much as possible. Empathize with them and feel the heat. They suffer and certainly don[‘t appreciate it any more than you do!
- Be considerate of elderly, fragile, ill and young animals that are not able to cope well with hot weather and high humidity.
- Watch out for signs of heatstroke in your pet which may include: excessive panting, staring, glazed eyes, drooling, warm dry kin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting or even fainting or collapse.
- Maintain and monitor flea, tick and heartworm prevention regimens. The summer months pose an increased danger of your pet being inferred by these parasites.
There are many things to enjoy and share with your animal companions throughout the summer. However, heat, humidity and parasites are not among them. Keep your pet cool, happy and healthy!
For More Information on Dr. Pomerance:
- visit www.animalcompanionsandtheirpeople.com
- follow twitter.com/dianepomerance
- visit www.facebook.com/animalcompanionsandtheirpeople
Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.