Jun 8 2011

Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Summer is definitely here!  After an extended rainy spring season, the heat is here in full force!  Our furbabies don’t always handle the heat well.   The heat effects dogs and cats the same way it impacts humans.  Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.

1. Keep pets inside. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your Waif!  Imagine being outside in the heat with all that fur, not enjoyable for any human or pet.

2. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle-heat exhaustion can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time.  During warm weather the temperature inside a car can rise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.  Think about how hot it gets when you park your car and run into the store to grab something.  Even leaving the windows down is not enough.  You wouldn’t leave your children in the car- please don’t leave your pets!

3. Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the heat and humidity are the lowest.  

4. Don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt.  Their body temperature can rise quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.

5. Time for a summer cut!  Get a long hair dog groomed for the summer.  Long haired breeds can be shaved to a one-inch coat.  Never shave down to the skin as this robs the dog of their protection from the sun.

6. Be sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzu’s, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 

7. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. While you do want to protect pets that have light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears, ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

8. Avoid taking your pet to events where there are crowds, like concerts and fairs.  The loud noise combined with the heat can be extremely stressful and dangerous for our furry friends.  Trust me, your pet will thank you later.

If your dog or cat is exposed to high temperatures: 

1. Pay attention to signs of over-heating and heat stress.  Heavy panting, glazed eyes, increased pulse, staggering, throwing up, unsteady walking are all signs.  Also check your pet’s tongue- a deep red or purple tongue is another sign. 

2. If your pet is overheated, you must lower their body temperature immediately. 

3.  Take your pet to a shaded area and put cool, not cold, water all over their body to gradually lower their body temperature.

4.  Apply ice pack or cool towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest only.

5. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. 

6. Finally, always visit and consult with your veterinarian.  These tips are only a recommendation, and you should always consult with your personal veterinarian about your pets health.

 

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs


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