Today is the official first day of summer, and if you’re anything like me, you are already planning some fun outdoor activities with your pup. But summer also brings long, hot days, and our pets can suffer from the same problems that we do, such as dehydration and overheating. By following these simple tips, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets healthy and happy:
- Never leave your dog alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down, a car, truck or van can become a furnace in no time. If you have errands to run, leave your dogs at home.
- Walk your dog during cooler times in the day, such as the morning or evening, and be sure not to walk them after a meal. Same goes for playtime.
- Always carry fresh water when traveling with your pet. With many dog-friendly water bottles available, giving your pup a drink on the go has never been easier.
- When temperatures are high, don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
- If you are spending the day at the beach with your pooch, be sure to bring plenty of fresh water. Sandy dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.
- Keep your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day. If they are outdoors during the day, be sure to provide fresh water and plenty of shade.
- Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets, including panting and drooling, weakness and an elevated body temperature.
- If your pooch is going to join you pool or lakeside this summer, be sure not to leave him or her unsupervised around the water. And if you go boating, don’t forget a dog life jacket.
- If your dog is tagging along to a backyard barbeque or party, be sure to keep him or her away from the human food and drinks. Some foods, such as raisins, grapes and chocolate, are toxic to our furry friends, and alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, depression and comas.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen for your pooch! The sun’s rays can penetrate a fur coat, and animals with lighter coats are even more vulnerable. Pay particular attention to their ears, nose and lips.
- Keep an eye out for the warning signs of heat stroke, including excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate or difficulty breathing. If you notice these symptoms call your vet immediately.