By Qasim Rashid
Summer is here in all its glory and if you take the heat out, it’s not that bad, isn’t it? I mean, it might get a little sweaty but summer is all about fun. And your pet would totally agree with that. This can be a great time to bond with your pet. But higher temperatures also mean higher risks for our furry companions – more injuries, more skin and ear infections, and a possibility of a heat stroke.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know- pets do not sweat in the same way as humans do and can easily become overheated. To avoid these problems and enjoy the summer season with your pet, here’re a few tips to keep in mind.
Water, Fresh Water
Dehydration in dogs and cats is a real possibility during summer. Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot. Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside the house and bring a bottle for your furry companion when going outside.
Watch Out for the Warning Signs
A dog’s normal temperature is between 100° and 103°F, while a normal temperature in cats ranges from 100.4º to 102.5ºF. Anything higher than that means your pets are in danger. Dogs and cats don’t sweat like we do. Watch for these possible symptoms of overheating: Heavy panting, bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting and even wobbly legs.
Never Alone in Vehicles
Most pets love riding in cars. But they wouldn’t enjoy being stuck in it somewhere in the parking lot when it heats up to over 100 degrees. You may think leaving your pet in a car for a few minutes is no big deal. However, it can take less than 10 minutes to develop heat stroke in dogs and cats inside the hot vehicle.
Gift Them a Kiddy Pool
Dogs who love the water, naturally love it even more during the hot months, and getting wet keeps them cool. Providing a small, kid-sized pool will go over big. They will be over the moon and couldn’t thank you enough with their wagging tails!
Keep Them Well-Groomed
Furry dog breeds should be well clipped during this season as the thick coat makes them feel hotter. Same goes for your cats which have double and triple coats like Persians and Siberians. It also makes it a home for bacteria and parasites.
Exercise Sessions Without the Sun
Your dog will appreciate the cooler temperatures, and so will you. Either take them for their morning walks in the early hours before the sun sets in or do it in the evening after sunset. Check the ground during walks. Blacktop can get scorching hot for your dog’s pads. Touch the surface yourself. If it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your dog as well.
Hose them down
Try a gentle spray of cool water. Keep in mind that it may take you a few tries before your pooch enjoys the experience. If it goes according to plan, he’ll feel happy and refreshed once he’s nice and wet. However, this isn’t necessarily true for the feline. For them, a nice cool space on the floor which isn’t carpeted will do the trick!
In summer, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites are practically everywhere. They carry tapeworms, heartworms, and several diseases that can put your pet at risk. Ask your vet for the appropriate medical prescriptions to keep your Fido or Kitty pest-free.
So, this may come as a surprise but believe it or not, pets get sunburns too, especially those with short or light hair coat. And just like with people, it hurts and can even lead to skin cancer. If you are planning to spend a day out in the sun with your furry companion, apply sunscreens every 3-4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies, ears, and nose. Use only sunscreens made specifically for pets. Your vet could advise on the product suitable for your pet fur kid.
Keep Those Hugs Limited
So, while showing affection and embracing your favorite furball may come naturally to you but it turns out your pets aren’t as essentially excited about those close hugs all the time during this warm, scorching weather. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you- it just means summer isn’t all about touching all the time.