Even if you own a single pet or multiple kinds of animals for pets, the warm season poses a tough challenge for you. Animals can also be very sensitive to heat, and because they can’t easily say that they’re feeling warm or they don’t feel good, you have to stay vigilant. There are also preparations which you can undertake before the warm season kicks in so that you’ll be prepared and reduce the risks of your animals getting sick or parasites.
During the last few weeks of spring, you can visit your veterinarian for a check-up. Your focus for this check-up should be parasites like heartworms. Since summer season also means that your pet will go out a lot, it’s advisable to ask the doctor for any safe tick and flea programs that they know. Don’t wait until it’s in the middle of summer before you go for a check-up, by that time it might already be too late and your pet will already be infected.
Don’t Bake Them
If you’re out on a trip or going out for errands, don’t leave your animals alone in your parked car. A hot day can quickly turn your car into an oven without you realizing it. Rolling down the windows won’t help dissipate the summer heat. This can easily lead to fatal heat strokes, when you come back it will already be too late. Many states are aware of this fact and they impose laws making it illegal for you to leave pets unattended in your car.
Taking your pets or animals out for a swim in your own pool is also a good idea. Just make sure to always keep an eye on them. For example, not all dogs are capable swimmers and they may get tired quickly without you knowing. Again, since they can’t tell you or they can’t show it properly, you might think that they are doing fine when they’re already struggling in the pool. It’s advised that you should slowly introduce your pets to the water. If you’re out in the open sea, wearing flotation devices is a definite help for your pets.
While your pets are swimming, make sure they don’t try to drink the pool water or seawater. These contain high amounts of chlorine and other chemicals which can result in an upset stomach. After swimming, rinse them to remove all that salt or chlorine from their furs.
Animals regulate the heat in their body by panting. This helps in evaporating the moisture in their lungs, resulting in a lowered core body temperature. With this regard, if the humidity in the room is too high, then they are unable to cool down their body temperatures. This will skyrocket their temperatures to dangerous levels fast.
If you feel that the weather is too humid, always take the time to check your dog’s temperature. Generally, a dog’s temperature should be kept well below 104 degrees. If it goes beyond that, then you should treat it like your dog is having a heatstroke already.
In hot weather, exercise should be adjusted or limited, depending on the weather. Experts advise that you schedule your exercises early in the morning or in the evening when the weather is not sweltering hot. While you’re walking out, make sure that the asphalt isn’t very hot that it can burn your pet’s paws. Remember that you have shoes to protect you from that while your pets don’t use shoes. You can let your pet walk on the grass to avoid this problem. You should also be prepared for your dog when you’re out exercising, you should bring water to keep your pet from dehydrating.
Shady as Can Be
If you let your pets roam or play outside, make sure that they have good protection from the sun and heat. If possible, they should also have fresh water available when they need it. Materials that offer shade without blocking the flow of air is ideal, things like tarps and tree shade. During the hot days, it’s not advisable to let them stay in a doghouse or outhouse. Similar to a parked car, the temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels.
Know Your Animals
Some of your pets or animals might have a good tolerance to heat, while others are especially vulnerable. Knowing which of your pets can stand going out on a summer day and which ones need to stay inside will help you in the future. If you see your pet with lesser heat tolerance having difficulty in hot weather then you can be especially careful. However if you know they are tolerant to heat, then you can relax and let them go outside if they wish.
If your pet has a lot of hair, then you can give them a summer haircut to help them feel cooler. Generally one-inch length hair (never down to the skin) haircut is good for dissipating heat. If you remove all their hair, they can easily absorb the heat, making the temperatures rise quickly. For skin products you will put on your animals like insect repellants or sunscreen, make sure that they are especially made or formulated for animal use.
Signs of Heatstroke
For animals, the signs of heatstroke can be different from humans. Some of the signs and symptoms for heatstroke in animals are:
- panting heavily
- eyes that look glazed over
- difficulty in breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- unquenchable thirst
- appearing dizzy or lethargic
- excessive salivation
- tongue looks deep purple or red
- lack of coordination
In particular, animals that are very young or very old, don’t exercise often, and those who have respiratory or heat diseases are very susceptible to heatstroke. For dogs and cats, those breeds that have a shorter nose or muzzles will have a difficult time breathing and cooling down their core body temperature during extreme heat.
Be Wary of Barbecue Parties
Summer is definitely the season for outdoor barbecues or parties. If you bring your pets along with you, make sure that they stay away from food and beverages offered to guests. Alcoholic beverages and certain types of food are not suitable for animals. It can cause depression, intoxication, and comas easily. With regards to food, the snacks that guests consume should not be considered as a treat for your pet. If they change their diet even for a single meal, then your pet will have an upset stomach within a few hours.
Remember during summer season that if you feel hot, then your animals feel even hotter. This is why taking care of animals during hot weather needs special measures from you. You need to be vigilant and also understand why these precautions are necessary. If you take good care of your animals in terms of preparation, it will ensure that you and your animals will be able to enjoy summer together without any problems whatsoever.