Ten Tips to Deal With the Dog Days of Summer
1- Never leave your pet alone in a vehicleâ€”hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.
2-Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.
3-When the temperature is very high, donâ€™t let your dog standing on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
4- A day at the beach is a no-no, unless you can guarantee a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for your companion. Salty dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.
5- Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.
6-When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. And please be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect that your animal has been poisoned.
7-Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch lengthâ€”never down to the skin, please, which robs your dog of protection from the sunâ€”helps prevent overheating.
8- Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting and drooling and mild weakness, along with an elevated body temperature.
9-Not all dogs are good swimmers, so if water sports are a big part of your family, please introduce your pets to water gradually.
10-Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.