Summertime is family fun time, and pets are part of our family. We are outside more, and so are they. Some families even pack their pets up and take them on trips, especially camping trips. But just as emergency room visits go up for people during warm weather, so do veterinary visits rise for dogs and cats. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your pets safe this summer.
In and Around the House
The biggest summertime danger for dogs and cats is overheating. Unable to sweat, they do have some natural cooling mechanics such as panting to evaporate moisture from the lungs and take heat away from the body. If the humidity gets too high, their body temperature can skyrocket quickly, leaving them in jeopardy of a heatstroke.
Use the following tips to prevent pets from overheating:
- Walk dogs in the early morning or late afternoon hours
- Make sure ventilation and cooling will be adequate for pets left indoors
- Have fresh drinking water for pets indoors and outdoors
- Secure screens in high rise buildings to prevent falls out of open windows
- Make sure pets outdoors have shade
- Keep a kiddie pool outdoors with cool water
- Add ice to drinking water outdoors
Summer poses other dangers for pets besides heat. Check around the house for the following dangers to pets:
- Puddles of sweet-tasting anti coolant in the driveway
- Open containers of plant food and fertilizer for outdoor plants
- Herbicide and Pesticide exposure
- Day lilies are poisonous to cats
- Azaleas are poisonous to dogs
- Mosquitoes are rampant during the summer season in most places. One bite from an infected mosquito can cause deadly heart-worms. Keep up to date on heart-worm prevention as well as flea and tick prevention.
Traveling with Pets
It goes without saying that pets should never be left alone in a hot car. The problem is that many people do not realize how quickly the temperature can escalate inside a parked car. Even in the shade with the windows down, the temperature inside a parked car can rise by 19 degrees in seven minutes.
More and more hotel chains are allowing pets with a deposit, tempting us to take our furry friends along on the family vacation, but many dogs don’t like riding in cars; they may have anxiety attacks. Therefore, before taking a major road trip with your pet, get him use to riding with short trips in traffic. If he doesn’t get over the anxiety, it’s best to board him while you are gone.
Never let dogs ride on the back of trucks. They can get injured in wrecks, become scared, and run. Dogs should be restrained with harnesses to keep them from being thrown from cars in accidents and cats should ride in carriers.
Make sure your pets are micro-chipped and are wearing an ID tag should they escape or become lost while traveling.
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