The summer season is the time for you and your pets to get out of the house and be more active! However, sometimes with the busy schedules of vacations, cookouts, visitation from out-of-town relatives and friends, normal day to day tasks of life can be forgotten.
Check out our tips below to keep your pets safe and healthy during the summer season.
Keep Your Pets Hydrated
Here are some helpful things to remember when your pet is spending time outside in the heat:
- Our pets need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily which is why it's important important to keep your pets hydrated. (especially in July, which is one of the hottest months in the U.S.)
- Be sure to have freshly-filtered water available at all times, carry cool water when traveling with your pet, and limit strenuous activity when it's hot.
- Keep in mind that dogs want to please their owners and may keep going or playing, even though they're becoming overheated. Our pets rely on us to ensure they're getting the water they need. Each time you reach for your water, think of your pet.
- Symptoms of dehydration in dogs and cats include sunken eyes, lethargy, dry mouth, a loss of elasticity in the skin, dry or sticky gums, and thick saliva.
- Be smart when the weather is hot. If you think your pet could be dehydrated, call us immediately.
Because dogs only sweat through their paw pads and cool off by panting, they are not as efficient at releasing heat as humans. Heat stroke in your pet can happen very quickly and acting fast can save your pets life.
Symptoms of possible heat stroke include: unusual fast and loud breathing, a high rectal temp (above 103°F), extreme thirst/thick saliva, lethargy/weakness, frequent vomiting, an increased heartrate, difficulty breathing and pale gums/bright red tongue.
If you see a dog that may be suffering from heat stroke, please transport them to a veterinarian immediately as the dog needs to be cooled as quickly and safely as possible.
Please remember that if you are traveling in your car for longer periods of time with frequent stops, bringing your pet with you may not be the best idea. A parked car becomes extremely hot inside within a matter of minutes. Subjecting your pet to this type of heat for even less than 5 minutes can be harmful and potentially fatal.
Summer Leash Tips
While summer is the time for having some fun in the sun and it may be tempting to let your dog off his or her leash, we want to remind you about the importance of keeping your pet on a leash.
No matter how well-behaved and trained your pet is, distractions can be dangerous or even deadly. A leash helps prevent your pet from getting lost, fighting with other animals, chasing wild animals, or running into traffic.
Make this summer your best one yet! Play it safe with your pet this summer and keep your pal on a leash during your outdoor adventures.
Dogs and cats are naturally curious animals, and this trait can sometimes get them into trouble with stinging insects like bees and wasps.
A single bee or wasp sting on your pet is painful and uncomfortable. Thankfully, these stings are ordinarily minor, and typically pets get better in a few hours.
However, if your pet is stung on the nose, mouth, or around the head, obtains multiple stings, or is allergic to the venom, serious complications can result.
Some dogs and cats may be allergic to bug bites or bee stings. In this case, they can go into anaphylactic shock and if they don't receive immediate veterinary attention, it could be fatal.
If your pet has been stung or bitten, monitor him or her to make sure that the swelling does not increase or spread. If your pet does not get better, contact a veterinarian who can tell you how to proceed.
Cookouts and Bar-b-que’s are great for getting together with family and friends during the warm weather and including your pet can be fun for them as well! Everybody wants a bite of the great tasting, seasonal foods — including our four-legged friends. Keep in mind that not all foods humans eat are safe for our pets.
Things like steak bones, corn cobs, and peach pits can get lodged in the throat or stomach and require the need of surgery to have them removed.
Other foods like chocolate, avocados, onions, grapes, and rhubarb are toxic to dogs and cause a number of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and/or kidney or liver failure.
Make sure that guests at your cookout know what they can and can't feed your pets and always check that trash cans and bags are covered and tied.
For more information about any of these safety tips or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (413) 663-5365.