Enjoy the Season with These Summer Pet Safety Tips
Time flies! It feels like just yesterday we were posting information about holiday pet safety for our community of dedicated owners. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to review the many ways our pets can get into trouble – or be placed inadvertently in harm’s way. Fortunately, with our tried and true methods for summer pet safety, you and your pet can enjoy all the season has to offer.
One of the best ways to get your pet started off on the right paw this summer is to have them examined. Preventive care exams offer great insight into your pet’s wellness, including dental health, nutrition, and disease prevention.
One More Thing
Vaccinations are always important, but during the summer, they’re downright crucial. Since many animals are exposed to wildlife and unclean sources of water this time of year, we recommend updating any necessary vaccinations right away.
Parasite prevention is a major component of summer pet safety. Fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes can ruin an otherwise wonderful summer. The good news? These parasites can easily be kept at bay through monthly oral or topical medications. Please let us know if your pet needs a new prescription.
One of the biggest threats to summer pet safety is the sun. The combination of high heat and humidity can negatively affect any pet, but animals with the following conditions are at greater risk of heat stroke:
- Short-faced breeds (bulldogs, Persians, pugs, Himalayans, etc.)
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease
- Impaired breathing
- Senior pets
When an animal’s internal temperature rises, they have a hard time cooling down. Although they pant and can sweat through their paws, nose, and skin, their fur still traps the heat.
When to Seek Emergency Care
Heat stroke is an emergency situation. Please contact us immediately if you notice the following symptoms:
- Excessive panting
- Dark red, dry gums
- Extreme lethargy
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Spike in temperature
Cool your pet down by placing damp, lukewarm towels under the arms and on the abdomen, chest, and back. Make sure they’re drinking water and place a fan nearby. Be careful not to bring their temperature down too quickly, as this can cause shock and worsen their condition.
Summer Pet Safety Measures
To prevent heat-related health issues, we recommend the following summer pet safety tips:
- Exercise your pet during the hours surrounding dawn and dusk.
- Provide lots of breaks in the shade.
- Ensure your pet always has access to cool, clean water (dehydration is a precursor to heat stroke).
- Do not allow them to walk/run on asphalt, concrete, and gravel, as these surfaces retain heat and can burn paw pads.
- NEVER leave your pet inside a parked vehicle.
- If your pet prefers to hang out on the patio or deck, be sure they have plenty of shade, water, and access to the house where they can cool down.
- Rabbit hutches should only be placed in shady areas.
Please contact us with further questions or concerns about summer pet safety. Our veterinarians are always here for you!