Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn. Heat stroke can be FATAL if not treated immediately.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can help your pets have a safe and healthy summer.
(None of these suggestions are intended to replace professional vet care. In the event of an emergency, get your animal companion to a vet ASAP!)
Spring Vet Visit
Schedule a spring check-up to have your pet tested for heartworm and to ask your vet about a chemical-free (or the safest possible) preventative program for mosquitos, fleas and ticks.
Shade and Water
Make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, filtered water because he can get dehydrated quickly when it is hot outside. If your pet is outside, make sure there is an accessible shady area.
Do not over-exercise your pet and do any outdoor exercise in the early morning or late evening after the sun has set. Remember, pets are much closer to hot asphalt than we are and don't wear shoes! When it is extremely hot, keep your pets indoors.
NEVER, EVER leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows open and in the shade, the temperature in a parked car can climb into the triple digits in minutes. This can lead to fatal heatstroke.
If you see a pet unattended in a parked vehicle, call the police. In some states it is illegal to leave pets in cars in extreme weather.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
Some of the symptoms of overheating in pets include:
Increased heart and respiratory rates
***Animals with flat faces/short noses (like Pugs, Persian cats), are more susceptible to heat stroke because they do not pant very effectively and should be kept in air-conditioning as much as possible.
Commonly used flea and tick products, insect repellents, weed killers, mouse/rat baits, insecticides, etc. can be harmful to dogs and cats if ingested (or absorbed through the paws or skin) so keep them well out of reach.
Consider organic lawn care (see our Duke's Recommends section for our favorite) and when walking your dog, steer clear of recently "treated" lawns.
Parties and Fireworks
Summer is the time for barbecues and parties but remember that many foods and drinks can be toxic to pets. Discourage your guests from feeding your pets any party food and make sure to keep the trash can out of reach of curious pets.
Going to see fireworks? Leave your pets at home. NEVER use fireworks around pets! If loud noises make your pet nervous, consider a calming product like Bach Rescue Remedy and close the windows and turn on the television or radio to help drown out the sound of fireworks.
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