Five ways to prep your pet for a safe and sound summer
Our furry friends love the outdoors as much as we do. And when summer starts heating up, your pets can be susceptible to many of the same heat-related issues that affect us humans. To help make sure it’s not a bummer of a summer, the ASPCA and petMD make a number of recommendations for keeping your four-legged companions safe this summer. Here are five tips to ensure you and your pet to have a summer full of fun in the sun.
1. Schedule a Preventative Checkup with your Vet
Before you and your pets start spending more time outside, make an appointment for an annual checkup with your vet. Request a test for heartworm, especially if they aren’t on a year-round preventative program.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Especially when it’s extra hot and humid, your pets can get dehydrated easily. Be sure that they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade when outdoors. On days that it’s especially hot and humid, consider keeping them inside until more moderate conditions return.
3. Beat the Heat
As temperatures rise, keep a closer eye on your animals looking for any heat-related issues:
- Watch for signs of overheating: increased panting/breathing, drooling, increased heart rate, weakness/lethargy.
- Animals with flat faces like Pugs or Persians have issues with panting that make them more likely to get heat stroke.
- Elderly and overweight animals and those with existing health issues should be kept in air conditioning as much as possible.
- Never leave your pet unsupervised in a parked car – even for a short period of time. It’s extremely dangerous, and often illegal.
4. Pool & Water Safety
On a hot day, what better place to take your pet than on a beach adventure, to the pool or even on watercraft. If you do, always be prepared!
- Don’t forget the pet-approved sunscreen! Even with their fur, animals can still get skin cancer too.
- Don’t assume your dog can swim. Introduce it to the water gradually, using a flotation device or life preserver (especially when boating), and never leave them unsupervised in or near the water.
- Don’t forget to rinse off sunscreen, salt water or chlorine from pool water from your animal’s coat after leaving.
5. Be Aware of Hidden Dangers
When you are out and about, don’t lose track of hidden dangers that can affect your animal’s health...
- Lawn treatments like fertilizers and insecticides can be harmful – watch for the little flags that indicate a recent treatment.
- Antifreeze – Be wary of random puddles on the pavement. When it’s hot, cars can overheat and leak antifreeze. It’s a real temptation for dogs and cats, and extremely poisonous.
- Food and drink from cookouts can be harmful to your pets, so when you are enjoying a backyard barbecue, keep your human food and libations safely away from your furry friends.
Retreat to cool comfort
When all else fails, simply retreat to the cool comfort of your air conditioned home. And to make sure your system is in peak condition for the peak of summer, don’t hesitate to call your local Carrier HVAC contractor to inspect and check your system. You and your pets are sure to appreciate it!