The heat is on, and whether you choose a summer Vacation or Stay-cation, keep your pets in mind 24/7. Know what to do for Heatstroke and what signs mean your pet requires emergency immediate veterinary care by boning up on your pet first-aid skills.
Have plenty of fresh water available for your pet, inside & out. By using a heavy, porcelain or ceramic bowl, the water will stay 10% to 20% cooler. (Plastic and aluminum tend to get very hot, which in turn warms up the water.) Leave the water bowls in shady areas under overhangs to entice your pets out of the sun. Outside food & water bowls should be placed in a larger bowl or pan containing a few inches of water to keep ants out of the pets bowl.
Even with windows open, a parked car can quickly reach more than 150 degrees resulting in heat stroke, permanent brain damage or death to your pet. Never EVER leave your dog or cat unattended in the car for even a few minutes.
Provide plenty of shade for outdoor pets. Pets don’t sweat! Panting works like an evaporative cooling system bringing in cool air only if there is any. An air-conditioned house is safest for your pet, but the next best thing is a well-ventilated/insulated doghouse or a shaded porch with a fan or misting system. Installing a fan or mister on a shaded porch can prevent heatstroke. Keep birds from overheating by setting up a misting system in your aviaries and learn basic bird first aid! Also remember that rabbits and pocket pets do best a room temperature. Environmental temperatures of 80 F and above spell trouble for these precious creatures so know how to help by learning first aid techniques that could save their life!
Be sure your pet has current ID tags at all times. Keep a current photo & description of your pet on hand. It will prove useful in the event your pet becomes lost on vacation or at home. Don’t plan a trip without thoroughly checking regulations for traveling with and/or boarding your pet.
If kitty loves to lay in a window sill to catch the breeze, make sure screens are secure so that she won’t tumble out. Remind anyone visiting your property (gardeners, pool cleaner, pet sitter) that gates and doors must be secured so pets can’t escape.
Watch for spills of fertilizer, car coolant, garbage & yard trimmings — ingestion could be fatal. Keep your pet well groomed and watch for ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, all which can cause disease in your pets.
All dogs DO NOT know how to swim! Always supervise your pet around pools & lakes and equip them with a flotation device like the HedzUp Water Collar to prevent drowning. Vests can help, but won’t keep their face out of the water. Many pets drown each year in backyard swimming pools. Be especially watchful of kittens and puppies around the pool. Teach your dog how to get out of your pool by placing the dog in the pool with you and gently guiding it to the steps. Do this over and over until the dog can find its way out of the pool without your help. Review this lesson every summer. You can do this with cats too. Read my Swimming Safety blog for more details. If you take your pet to the lake or beach, provide shade and plenty of fresh water, but also stay vigilant to fishhooks, fishing line, sharp rocks and other dangers. Remember drinking water from lakes and streams could spell G-I-A-R-D-I-A!
Hot weather brings out Rattlesnakes. Your best safety device is keeping control of your dog by having him on a leash. Limit the rodent population in your yard by removing ivy and piles of wood since where they are mice, there are snakes to eat them! Should your pet get bitten by a rattlesnake, keep him calm and immediately transport him to an animal care center that carries anti-venin. Watch this: https://youtu.be/W7iNOvXmnTk
Keep you pet inside and secure during Fourth of July Fireworks! Many dogs & cats end up in shelters or hit by cars once scared by the noise.
Hot concrete & asphalt can burn precious paws! Exercise your pets early, during the cool part of the day and walk them on grass. Remember, if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for paws.
Don’t bike or roller blade with your pet for any length of time — your pet could quickly get heat stroke which can cause permanent brain damage and death.
Cookouts can result in burned paws and summer-time foods like burgers, franks and fried chicken can cause a canine or feline pancreatitis, a fatal inflammation of the pancreas! Stick to your pet’s normal diet for a happier and healthier dog or cat.
Never use rat poison (which will result in your pet’s death), snail bait pellets (which can cause seizures) or moth balls — all are poisonous to our dogs and cats!
Paws & fingers crossed for pet safety!
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