Summer is all about fun in the sun, especially with our four-legged friends. However, with rising temperatures and more time spent outdoors, this could mean more trips to the veterinarian. Causes can include heat stroke, dehydration, ripped nails, fleas, ticks and burnt paws.
Keeping it Cool
There are a couple of ways to do this! Making “pupsicles” can provide a delicious treat, while also keeping your pet cool. For dogs who enjoy the water, you can place the garden sprinkler on the lawn and let your dog run back and forth through the cool water. You can also fill a kiddie pool with cool water and monitor as they sit, soak and play. For those dogs who like to lounge, you can create a shaded area in their favourite spot on the deck or in the yard. You can always make a canopy by draping a blanket or sheet across the top of two chairs. For dogs with unusually thick coats or long hair, have a groomer trim them back into a shorter, more comfortable cut.
NEVER leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, do not assume that by parking in the shade with the windows cracked open will keep your dog cool. A vehicle acts like a greenhouse, trapping and magnifying the sun’s strength and heat. Both air and upholstery temperature will rise so rapidly that a dog can’t cool down. Since dogs don’t sweat, their only way of cooling down is by panting or by releasing heat through there paw’s.
Signs of heat exhaustion are heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, unconscious, trembling and could lead to death. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, get your pet into the shade as quickly as possible. Give your pet cool water to drink, hose pet down, cover him with a cool damp, cloth or put in a bathtub with lukewarm water. If your dog’s condition worsens, seek immediate medical attention (call a vet or go to the emergency clinic).
Walk with Caution
When walking your dog in the summer, here are a couple of tips to help your four-legged friend stay safe. When going for walks stay off hot surfaces (like asphalt), walk your dog on the grass instead because it can burn your dog’s paws. Try going in the cooler hours of the day, such as the morning or evening. Use the five-second rule to make sure it is safe to walk your dog. Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold your hand on the sidewalk for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog.
Summer is a great time to be outside with your pet, remember that just because you feel fine, your pet may be overheating. Use these tips to help keep your pet safe, so you both can enjoy time in the sun. Have a fun and safe summer!
Written by Samantha Hansen, CSR