Summer is in full swing. The weather is perfect for taking your dog on long runs, going to the dog park, and spending warm days outside with your pets. Summertime is the perfect season for outdoor fun. Unfortunately, it can also present some extra dangers to your pets.
One of the biggest dangers to your pets in the summer is the weather. Pets don’t sweat when they’re hot, which can make it harder for them to regulate their body temperature - especially for furry, long haired dogs. Since dogs cool themselves off by panting, it can make it even harder for them to stay cool in the hot air.
With temperatures rising into the 90s in the Live Oak and Yuba City area, an increased risk of parasites, and other summertime hazards, it’s a good idea to take precautions to keep your pet’s health and environment safe.
Do your pets stay outside during the day? If so, it’s a good idea to routinely check on your pet for symptoms of overheating. Sometimes it can be difficult to detect when a pet is overheating versus a dog that is panting to regulate its body temperature.
Symptoms of overheating in pets, include: excessive panting, increased heart rates, wheezing, and drooling. They also tend to appear lethargic, weak, and might seem like they’re in a daze. More severe symptoms of overheating, include: seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and increased body temperatures.
Pets can become dehydrated easily. It’s important to make sure your pet has a fresh and clean water supply all year long. However, it’s extra important in the summertime. Your pet will also need a shady area in the backyard, where it can get away from the sun. In cases where the weather is dangerously hot, you should keep them inside.
One of the most important ways to keep your pet safe in the summertime is by never leaving them in a hot car. It might seem like it’s okay to leave your pet in the car for a few minutes, while you run inside to finish some errands. However, a pet can overheat, develop a heat stroke, and even suffocate WITHIN MINUTES in a hot car. Even on a 78 degree day, temperatures in your car can hit 90 degrees in the shade, and over 170 in the sun. On warm days, it’s better to leave your dog at home.
While all dogs know how to swim, not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pet to water slowly, making sure they are confident swimmers. It’s also a good idea to wash your dog with fresh water to remove any salt or chlorine from its fur.
Do you have a dog with long hair? You can help keep your pet cooler in the summer by trimming it’s long hair. At the same time, you don’t want to shave your dog. Dog fur keeps your dog’s skin from becoming sunburned. One way to keep your cat cool is by brushing it more than usual to lighten the weight of its fur.
Barbeques might be delicious for humans, but certain food and drinks at barbeques can be poisonous for pets. For instance, alcoholic beverages can cause depression, intoxication, and comas in pets. You should also avoid other picnic foods, like raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, or foods sweetened with xylitol. Some meats or any changes in diet can also cause digestive problems in pets, and induce vomiting and diarrhea.
Pets with flat faces, like Pugs, Boxers, Bull Dogs, and Persian cats, are more likely to experience heat strokes than other breeds. Flat faced pets are unable to pant as effectively as other dogs. They’re also more likely to experience weight, lung, and heart conditions. These breeds along with older pets are better off staying in the air condition during hot summer months.
With an enhanced sense of hearing, pets are extra sensitive to fireworks, causing them to become scared, confused, and even run away. Not to mention, unused fireworks contain materials that are poisonous to pets, while lit fireworks can cause burns and trauma. Avoid firework accidents with your pets by keeping them inside during celebrations. Try and put pets in an isolated, quiet area of your home, where they can’t run away or harm themselves.
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes thrive in the summer. They also happen to host a variety of dangerous diseases, like heartworms, lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (if you live in those areas). Protect your pet from bugs and parasites this summer by using bug spray for mosquitoes, and keeping your pet’s flea and tick prevention medication up-to-date.
You can make sure your pet stays parasite free over the summer by taking them for an end of the summer veterinary checkup. During your checkup, you should make sure your pet gets tested for heartworms and other summertime parasites, especially if they aren’t on preemptive medication.
Summer is one of the best times to be a pet owner. By taking a little extra precaution and paying attention to your pet’s behavior, you and your pet can can enjoy the nice weather this time of the year.