Is it hot enough for ya? It’s so hot the swimming pool is boiling. You could fry an egg on the sidewalk. It’s hotter than a blister bug in a pepper patch!
We sure do have a lot of colorful sayings here in Texas related to the heat – and for good reason! As the notorious heat and humidity climb, pet owners have some extra work to do around summer pet safety. Let the team at Brodie Animal Hospital help!
Rules About Heat
Protecting your pet from extreme heat is an absolute must. The cool, clean water should flow endlessly, and shade is equally important. Keep your pet indoors as much as possible during the day, and exercise them at dawn and/or dusk. Also:
- Avoid hot concrete, asphalt, and gravel, as these surfaces retain heat and can cause damage to paw pads.
- Take frequent breaks. Be careful not to push your pet too much.
- Fans, frozen treats, and wet bandanas around the collar can keep your pet’s internal temperature at a safe level.
A Word About Vehicles
In 15 minutes, temperatures inside a car can exceed triple digits; our pets just aren’t equipped to handle something like this. Please leave them at home where you know they’ll be safe and comfortable.
Cats and dogs regulate their temperature by panting (they’re also capable of perspiring a little through their paw pads and noses). However, because of all that wonderful fur, the heat doesn’t escape easily, making prevention the only way to truly combat heatstroke.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek emergency care right away:
- Dark red, inflamed, and dry gums
- Excessive panting (even without exertion)
- Rectal temperature higher than 103 degrees
- Rapid heart rate
- Decreased urination
It’s important to bring down a pet’s internal temperature, but doing so too quickly can result in shock. Place damp, lukewarm towels under the arms, on the chest, neck, belly, and back. Offer water repeatedly, and place a fan nearby. Call us for further direction.
Other Aspects of Summer Pet Safety
Once you have a handle on your pet’s exposure to the sun, you can move on to other important components of summer pet safety. For example:
- Parasite prevention – Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can really ruin a summer. By administering your pet’s medication throughout the year, you can rest assured your pet is protected.
- Disease prevention – In the summer, animals are more vulnerable to contagious diseases. Whether it’s the communal bowl at the dog park, bacteria in freshwater, or run-ins with wildlife, there are more opportunities for pets to get sick.
- Stings and bites – Insects and snakes pose threats to summer pet safety. Keep an eye out for any wasps, bees, yellow jackets, hornets, flies, ants, spiders, and various snakes (like rattlers)!
With summer pet safety, the animals we know and love can continue to enjoy the beautiful weather with us. As always please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Happy summer!