It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for, when the snow has finally melted and we can open the front door and let our dogs and cats roam free. Being cooped up all winter makes pets antsy and lazy and when the weather turns nice they can’t wait to barrel through the grass and woods on their daily adventures. However, in addition to fleas and ticks, pet owners need to be mindful of how hot the weather gets and take precautionary measures to ensure their dog or cat doesn’t suffer from heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration. With all their fur and their penchant for running around it’s very easy for certain breeds of dogs and cats to overheat and if left alone this can be a serious problem. Follow some easy tips to ensure your little buddy has a healthy and safe summer.
Avoid Leaving a Pet in the Car – It’s inviting to take a pet on a car ride or to a park or beach on a sunny day. Short trips that don’t involve prolonged time in a hot car is fine but if you are going shopping or out to eat it is recommended you leave your pet at home. Even when you crack a window pets can overheat quickly in a car and may start to panic which can lead to their paws pushing some buttons and hitting some levers that shouldn’t be touched. Pets in cars are also at risk for being taunted by children or getting overexcited when another pet is near. Do your pet and your car a favor and limit the time your pet spends in the car.
Always have Water Available – Whether you pet stays inside or is allowed out in the morning for the day it is important to make sure he always has access to fresh drinking water. Dogs and cats know when they need to drink so you don’t have to watch over them, just leave a bowl of cold water in a place they know and if possible check it throughout the day to ensure it is full and the water is clean. Even when kept inside pets may succumb to sudden heat waves and if you are not home to adjust the air conditioning at least provide water so your pets can stay hydrated.
Watch for Unusual Behavior – Keeping an eye on your pet’s behavior is another good way to ensure he doesn’t suffer from heat-related conditions. If you notice your pet panting excessively, seeking out cool places to lie down and struggling to walk it’s a sure sign he is too hot. Usually some time in an air conditioned room with some cold water should be enough for your dog or cat to rest and rebound but if the symptoms persist contact your local vet and make an appointment for a checkup.