Beat the Heat

 

 

Photo by: Nomadic Lass (courtsey of Flickr Creative Commons)

Summer is officially here. In case anyone forgot what it feels like, Mother Nature has already given us a few 90+ degree days. When we as adult humans get hot, our bodies remind us to take steps to cool ourselves off. Our furry friends however rely on us to make good decision regarding their health and well-being.

Here are a few recommendations ASPCA has come up with to help ensure your animals have fun and stay safe summer.

·         Visit your vet. If your pet isn’t already taking heartworm medication, be sure to have them tested before starting them heartworm prevention medicine. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos putting your loved ones at an increased risk during summer months.

·         Provide shade and plenty of H2O. It’s important that pets don’t over exercise. Pets get dehydrated quickly. If your animals are outside, make sure they have a shaded area to relax with plenty of refreshing water to rehydrate. In extreme heat, please keep them indoors.

·         Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion. Warning signs for animals include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, and/or collapsing. In extreme cases where body temperatures elevate to 104 degrees, your animal may experience seizures, bloody diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Animals with flat faces tend to have a hard time controlling their panting put them at an even greater risk for heat exhaustion. Remember to keep these pets, along with elderly, overweight, and/or those with health problems in air conditioned spaces.

·         Just like your children, you should never leave your pet alone in a car. On a hot day, a parked car with the windows up turns into an oven. When the temperature outside reaches 90 degrees, your car interior will become 109 degrees in just ten short minutes. In fact, leaving pets in unattended vehicles in extreme weather is illegal in many states. If you spot an animal in such a situation, don’t hesitate to call building security, local police, or animal control for assistance.

·         Does your dog know how to swim? If you aren’t sure, never leave your pet unattended around water. For dogs who love to swim, please remember to rinse off chlorine or salt from your pet’s fur. If swallowed, chlorine and other chemicals could also upset their stomachs.

·         Have you checked the screens on your windows to make sure they are secure? If not, your cat may fall out of an open window and sustain serious injuries.

·         Keep your pets out yards that have been sprayed. The insecticides may be harmful if ingested by your furry friends.

 

 


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