Caring for Your Pets During the Summer
The summer sun sits high in the sky during a scorching July day. Heat radiates off asphalt roads as temperatures soar into the 90’s. In the backyard, a dog lays in yellow stained grass panting rapidly. The summer is here, and it isn’t always a friendly place for our pets. What can we do to help our furry friends during the dog days of summer? Read on to find out.
Never leave your dog in a parked car
Certainly, you have heard this tip before. However, it is important to understand that you should not leave your pet in a car for even one minute. On a warm day, temperatures can rise rapidly in a vehicle even with cracked windows. If you need video proof, check out NFL player Tyrann Mathieu attempt to sit in a parked car on a warm day.
Limit exercise on a hot day
Hot days affect all breeds, not just long-haired breeds. Unfortunately, your pet still needs exercise – just like you – so you need to adjust the duration and intensity based on the temperature. The best times to take your pet on a walk is early morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Also, avoid asphalt if you can and walk your pets on the grass. Asphalt can heat up and burn a dog’s paws. Also, always bring water with you.
Provide ample shade and water
Any time your pet is outside, make sure there is protection from the sun. Tree shade and tarps are a great choice because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse, on the other hand, can make the heat worse as a breeze won’t circulate inside. In addition, make sure there is plenty of cold, fresh water. The addition of ice to the water is a useful idea as well.
Watch for signs of heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause a heatstroke. Be sure to watch for symptoms such as:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Issues breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Excessive thirst
If your pet shows these symptoms, move them into an air-conditioned area. Then, apply ice pack and cold towels to the head, neck, and chest. You can also run cool water over them. Finally, let them drink small amounts of water and take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
In conclusion, summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy ourselves. However, we need to take precautions for our pets on hot, summer days. These include never leaving your pet in a parked car, limiting or modifying exercise times, providing ample shade and water, and knowing what to do if your suspect your pet is suffering from a heatstroke. Utilizing these tips will lead to a fun, safe summer for everyone!