As the temperatures climb, summer fun is on everyone’s minds. Whether it’s hiking in the hills, a beach day, or just lounging in the backyard, chances are your days are full of outdoor time.
Summer is not all fun in the sun, though. When it comes to our pets, a little extra TLC when temperatures and humidity rise is essential. Luckily, Sunrise Boulevard Veterinary Hospital has the scoop on summer pet safety.
Hot Weather Dangers
Our pets may love to play in the summer sun, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for them. Overheating and heat stroke are real dangers for pets in the summertime. A few too many games of fetch or too much dog park play time can spell big trouble for your pooch. It’s up to us to remember the following rules:
- Stop frequently and rest and cool off
- Observe your pet for signs she looks hot and tired
- Listen for excessive panting and/or rapid breathing
Signs of heat stroke include:
- Panting and drooling
- Blue or bright red gum color
- Seeking shade, lying down
- Weakness, collapse
If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, stop what you’re doing and immediately get your pet to shade, or better yet, air conditioning. Wrap towels around her body doused with lukewarm (never cold) water. Bring your pet to the nearest veterinarian right away.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires life saving veterinary treatment. It affects every major organ and can cause brain damage, organ failure, and death. Sadly, many pets don’t survive. Even if your pet seems better, she still needs to be seen.
Summer Safety for Pets
For truly safe fun in the sun, follow these tips:
- Limit exercise during the day. Instead, play, walk, hike, or run in the cooler early morning or evening hours.
- Be sure there’s always access to shade and fresh, cool drinking water – at home and on outings.
- Be mindful that surfaces may absorb the sun’s heat and become scorching to dog’s paws. Watch for hot concrete, asphalt, pavers, and pool decks. Your pet’s paws may easily burn if she walks on these hot surfaces.
- If it feels too hot for you outside, it’s likely too hot for your pet. Let her rest inside with the A/C and/or fans running. Never leave a pet outside in hot or humid weather.
- Keep cool by turning on the sprinklers, buying a kiddie pool for your yard, and even making pet friendly fruit and vegetable popsicles!
- Never, ever leave your pet in a parked vehicle, even for a few minutes. Even with the windows rolled down. Even in the shade. Being left in a car is the number one cause of heat related deaths in pets. It’s not worth it, believe us.