Spending time with our pets during the long, sunny days of summer is one of the best parts of this time of the year! But being overeager in the heat can be potentially dangerous. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to help ensure your pet has a fun and safe summer with you. Follow these 8 tips to beat the heat this summer!
- Keep your pets indoors, particularly during the hottest parts of the day. If you do let your pets outside, make sure they’re never outside for long periods of time.
- When your pets are outside, make sure they have access to shade, shelter, and freshwater. Do not leave your pets outside for extended periods of time during episodes of extreme heat. Keep in mind that shady spots offer little protection on hot days and they move with the sun.
- Never leave your animals unattended in a parked vehicle. The temperature inside a car rises quickly! At 70 degrees on a sunny day, the inside of your car can be as high as 20 degrees higher. Within 30 minutes, the inside of your car can climb from 85 degrees to a scorching 105 degrees! Even in the shade or with windows cracked, pets should not be left unattended in your car.
- Be aware of your pet’s individual needs and considerations during the summer months. For example, animals with flat faces – also known as brachycephalic breeds (ie: Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs) – are more prone to heatstroke because they cannot pant as effectively as other dogs. Elderly, overweight, and sick pets are more at risk for health concerns if in the heat too long. Keep them in a cool, air-conditioned room as much as possible.
- Don’t let your pets linger on hot asphalt when temperatures are very high. Paw pads are sensitive and can burn. Remember the 7-second rule. If placing your palm on concrete or asphalt is too hot for you after 7 seconds, it’s way too hot for your pup to walk on. Taking your pet out during the coolest parts of the day, like dusk and dawn, can help prevent burns from hot asphalt.
- Know the signs of heatstroke. They include: excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, stupor, and collapse. Severe symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting with an elevated body temperature. If you see any of these signs, call your vet immediately!
- Protect your pet from pesky pests. With the heat, come more annoying pests that could potentially carry dangerous and deadly diseases. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are all year-round concerns in our area but are more prevalent in the summer months. Keep your pet on monthly prevention all year long.
Warm weather can pose health risks to your pets – even when the temperatures don’t seem that hot to you! These 8 tips can help you to make educated decisions on your pet’s safety during these hot summer days. If you have any questions, please call our office at 540-776-0700. We hope you have a fun and safe summer with your pets!