Summer is just around the corner and it comes with benefits but also health risks for all pets. Higher temperatures can also mean higher risks for injuries, skin and ear infections, and risks of heatstrokes. Pets have a body temperature warmer than humans, and with their fur coats, summer can get very challenging for them. Even though wild animals might be well adapted to the elements, companion animals can be just as susceptible to extreme temperatures as their owners.
Heatstroke can occur because a pet’s body is unable to bring the temperature down to normal levels through panting alone. Luckily doing some simple things can help us keep our pets cool and comfortable.
AVOID THE SUN FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME
It’s important to avoid exposure to the sun for more than one hour straight. Have in mind that pets are covered with hair plus their body temperatures are much higher than that of humans. Remember that they do not sweat to cool off, instead they pant and look for cool surfaces to cool down.
PROVIDE A PROPER WATER SUPPLY
Pets get much thirstier than we do when they get hot and dehydration can be a possibility during the summer for them. Some of the signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling, so you’ll need to be o the look-up for them. Always make sure your pet has easy access to fresh, clean water, and when going outside bring a bottle for your pet companion, just like you do for yourself!
When going outside you should keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While usually, pets like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and lead to heatstroke.
Furry pets should be well-groomed during summer since their thick coat would make them feel hotter. It also can be a great way to keep them healthy since fur plus hot weather can create a home for bacteria and parasites.
SIGNS OF OVERHEATING
There are some signs that in case you notice in your pet during summer, it may be a symptom of a heat-related problem:
If you see any of these signs of heat exhaustion, first give them a drink of water, move them to a cool place, and get them to the vet. It’s not recommended to place them in cold water, which can put them into shock.
PROTECT THEIR PAWS
If you go out in the sun with your pet, try to keep them off of hot surfaces like cement and asphalt. It can burn their paws and even increase body temperature and lead to overheating.
In summer your pet is at risk of heartworm, Lyme disease, Bartonella as well as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites that can put your pet and yourself at risk if infected, so ask your vet at Salazar Veterinary Hospital for the appropriate medical prescriptions to keep your pet pest-free.
In case your pet finds itself in a case of heatstroke, or you suspect that it might have any other issues give us a call (407)807-6611, and our staff will indicate what steps you’ll need to follow to help them as soon as possible. There are also Salazar Veterinary Hospital veterinarians ready to help you if you want to bring your pet for a check-up. Remember summer pet safety isn't hard, it just requires some thought and attention.