The weather is finally nice! After the winter we just had, who wouldn’t want to get outside? Before things really heat up, check out our summer safety tips for your furry friend.
Avoid the heat
- Plan your walks for early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid.
- Black top can get extremely hot in the summer sun. Asphalt can reach 125 °F even when the outside temperature is only 77 °F, and can reach 140 °F when the outside temperature is 87 °F. Check the temperature by holding the back of your hand against the ground for 7 seconds to make sure your dog will be comfortable. Walking your pet on the grass and dirt trails are great options.
- When it is hot outside, stay inside with the AC on and fans blowing. Dark fur will attract heat faster than light fur, so take this into account also.
- Make sure water bowls are full of clean fresh water. Bowls outside will evaporate quickly in the heat.
- Go for a swim. Lounging in a kiddie wading pool, or playing with a hose or sprinkler can keep your dog cool and be lots of fun. However, if paw pads get too wet, they are more susceptible to burns from hot pavement and blisters from running on the concrete around the pool. Check your dogs paws frequently. They may not want to stop splashing, but you may need to make them take a break so their feet can dry out.
Signs of over heating
- Heavy panting
- Excessive thirst
- Glazed eyes
- Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
- Bright or dark red tongue and/or gums
- Elevated body temperature of 104 °F and above
- Weakness, collapse
- Increased pulse and heartbeat
- Excessive drooling
- Heat stroke is when temps reach over 109 °F
Breeds at risk
If you have an English Bulldog, Pug, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Pekinese, Shih Tzu or any other adorable squished nose dog that likes to snore, take extra precautions to avoid overheating and heat stroke. These breeds do not pant as effectively as larger nosed dogs.
Puppies, elderly, and overweight dogs are also at risk.
Our feline friends generally bear the heat better than their canine counterparts, but their curiousity can get them into trouble if they venture outside the home. If you live close to a major road, or in an area where you see wildlife and other outdoor cats, it is safer to keep your cats indoors. Outdoors they risk being hit by a car or being bitten by another animal. Even the smallest bite can result in a large abscess or transmit disease. Bringing them into the vet immediately for treatment, can help prevent infection and control pain.
- Update Rabies, FVRCP (Distemper), and FeLV (Feline Leukemia) vaccines
- Apply topical monthly preventative to your indoor and your outdoor cats. We recommend Revolution to protect them against fleas, intestinal worms, heartworm and ear mites. It only takes a minute for a flea to hop on board whether you bring them in on your clothing or if your cat is outside for a couple minutes to smell the roses.