The official start to summer may still be a few weeks away, but now that spring is in full swing pet parents need to think about how the warmer weather affects our pets.
Some pets are more susceptible to the heat than others. Beating the heat can be difficult for dogs as they can only cool themselves off by panting and may not realize when they’re overheating. Short-nosed breeds such as pugs and bulldogs and older pets are at an even higher risk of heatstroke and heat related issues.
That doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy the summer sun! Here are ten tips to help you and your pets stay cool while making the most of the warmer days ahead!
1. Never leave your pet in a vehicle unattended! While it may seem obvious, every year pets are left in hot vehicles and the results can be tragic. Within just a few minutes on a warm day, the temperature inside a vehicle can climb to life-threatening temperatures. Under no circumstances should your pets be left in hot vehicles!
2. Stay hydrated! Ensuring your pets have access to cool, fresh water is important all year round, but especially when the weather warms up. Be sure to bring an extra bottle of water for long walks or trips to the park!
3. Take a dip! While it isn’t for all pets, if they enjoy swimming it’s a great way to beat the summer heat. Whether it’s a dip in the lake, a trip to the beach, or some wading in a backyard kiddie pool, playing in the water helps to keep pets cool and active!
4. Adjust your schedule to avoid the heat. Simply avoiding exposure during the hottest hours of the day is the easiest way to keep your pets active while staying cool. Take walks or visit the park earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the warmest hours of the day.
5. Don’t forget about your smaller pets or livestock! Always bring pets such as rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and livestock indoors if you can as they are also vulnerable to the summer heat. They should also always have access to fresh water and cool, shaded areas. Make sure your smaller pets’ cages are not in direct sunlight!
6. Regulate your pets’ activity! Some pets may not know their limits and it’s important to make sure they don’t over exert themselves in the heat. When it’s warmer, their stamina won’t be the same so make sure your pets take breaks (and drink water!) while they’re playing outdoors. Find a shaded place to take a time out and cool down before returning to the action.
7. Protect their sensitive and vulnerable areas! Noses, paw pads, ears, bellies, and areas not covered with fur can be particularly vulnerable to heat and sunburn. Keep an eye on those areas, and limit your pets’ sun exposure as necessary. When possible, avoid forcing your pet to walk on hot surfaces - if it’s too hot for your bare feet it’s too hot for theirs!
9. Know your pet! Keep an eye on them when enjoying the heat and If they seem like they’re overheating or need a break, make the call. Afterall, pet owners know their pets best!
10. Download the Healthy Pets App! Have peace of mind knowing you can connect with a reliable, local vet via text or video chat on demand. If you’re worried about your pet, or would like advice on how to keep them cool the vets at Healthy Pets are here for you! Download the app today - available for Android and iOS!