The warm long days of summer are finally here! What better way to spend summer with your favorite companion. By taking a few extra precautions you can ensure that your pet stays happy and healthy during the next few months of fun in the sun!
First things first, beat the heat! If this summer is anything like last summer, it is very important to keep these things in mind for your furry friends. Never leave your pet in the car, even if it seems cool outside the car may still be an oven on wheels. It is harder for animals to eliminate heat especially on humid days. Provide plenty of shade for your pet when they are outside. On extremely hot days it may be best to keep your pet in the garage with a fan or even indoors. However, keep in mind it can be harder for pets to adjust going from the air conditioning to being in the scorching heat. Also, be sure to provide plenty of fresh water whether your pet is indoors or out. It is very important that you and your pet stay hydrated during the dog days of summer, so if you are going out be sure to bring enough water for both of you! (see signs of heat stroke below).
Secondly, keep your pets protected. There are many irritants out there that can cause issues for our little friends. Animals also run the risk of becoming sunburnt. Pets who get a summer shave down or who have a light colored coat/skin may need some extra protection. You can rub sun screen on any thin haired areas such as over the tips of their ears, around the nose or lips. Flies, mosquitos and ticks are not just pests to humans but also to our pets. You can use fly repellents such as fly sprays or ointments to help minimize irritation. It is important to dose your pet with a monthly heartworm preventative to prevent the mosquitos from transferring the deadly heartworm disease. Lastly use a tick preventative such as Frontline Plus or a Preventic Collar during the tick season to help stop Lyme disease transmission.
Next, keeping your pet leashed when out in the sun will eliminate the chances of losing them. Many pets become lost over the summer months because they are spending more time outdoors. If you haven’t already, call and make a microchip appointment, so that you and your pet can be reunited if they are to ever become lost.
Lastly, it is important to watch for toxins. Toxins can be found commonly around your house in the summertime even if you don’t know it. Antifreeze is a common toxin in our pets because it is a tasty treat to them, when really it can be fatal. Antifreeze causes kidney failure in pets. There are also many plants that can be toxic to pets. These include; tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, lilies, crocus and more (please see the list below for more information). Keeping your pets out of these plants will help prevent serious illness. If your pet gets into anything like this, it is important for them to be evaluated by Dr. Culbertson ASAP.