ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Summer Pet Care
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors
with your pets. Remember
though that hot days for your pet feel like it's high noon, you're walking barefoot on
asphalt wearing a full-length fur coat. By following some simple
guidelines, you and your animals can have a wonderful summer.
- Never leave your pet in the car
Even with the
windows slightly open, the temperature inside the car can reach well
over 150 degrees in a matter of minutes. It is an experience that would
be similar to you jumping into a 350 degree oven. If you think
it's okay to race into the store and leave the car running
with the air conditioning on, there are many dangers in that too. The
worst is someone steals your vehicle and your dog. Or your engine could
stall, killing the air conditioning and possibly killing your dog. Or,
as I saw, the dog jumps around inside, hits the gear shift and your car
crashes into the store.
- Dogs should never ride unprotected
bed of a pickup truck
. They can be thrown out during sudden stops or accidents, or leap out
to see something interesting on the side of the road. Riding in the
bed is especially dangerous in the summer because the truck bed heats
quickly and can scorch the pads of their feet, and the sun is beating
on them, even if the wind feels cool.
- Exercise only the cool of the
evening. Dog's don't
have an efficient cooling system and can suffer heatstroke while
or jogging with you on a hot day. Remember, temperatures at two to
feet above the ground where your pet stands can be 20 degrees hotter
at five to six feet up. Even going for a walk can be hard on the dog.
becomes very hot quickly and can burn their paws, so don't make him
or sit on hot pavement.
- Water should be plentiful and clean.
Make sure that water is available for your pet both inside and outside.
If you are walking your animals bring water along for all of you.
Hydration is extremely important when it is warm outside.
- If you pet is left outside, be
there is always a well
shaded area for him to rest. Check at various times of the day since
the sun moves significantly. Misting systems and wading pools will also
help to keep
your pet cool. Place several containers of water in different locations
so your pet always has water available. Water that has been heated up
the sun or tipped over does your pet no good. Because dogs cool by
they need to have plenty of water available on hot days.
- Humidity interferes with your pet's
to get rid of excess body heat. Your dog only perspires from the
area around their paws which is not enough to regulate body temperature
efficiently. To rid themselves of excess heat, dogs pant. Air moves
through their nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body
that is then expelled through the mouth. This is efficient, but is
severely limited in high humidity or when the animal is in close
- Heavy coated dogs need to be
daily to remove dead hair.
If you clip your dog during the summer, don't go to bare skin or you
will expose him to sunburn. Pets with light skin and noses can benefit
from sun screen. Talk to your veterinarian about options.
- Pets can benefit from Sunscreen too.
Dogs with light skin and hair can burn just like their human companions
can, complete with pain, peeling and potential for skin cancer. If your
dog is "fair skinned" you should keep them away from prolonged sun
exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and when you do go out, put some
sun screen on the tips of the ears, the skin around the lips and the
tip of the nose.
- Older, ill or overweight dogs
deal with the heat. The
have a hard time regulating their body temperature so be certain they
stay cool. Breeds with short noses like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers
also need protection from the heat because they can't pant efficiently.
- Antifreeze can kill your pet.
hot weather (and other time too) keep your animals from drinking out of
puddles in the street which can contain antifreeze and other toxic
chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste that animals like,
but it is extremely toxic so keep your pets from sneaking sips from
- Keep your pet on a leash if you
an unfenced or unfamiliar area. Being on leash will keep them from
getting lost, fighting with other animals, eating and drinking things
they should avoid and allows you to keep an eye on their condition.
- If your dog succumbs to heatstroke,
you need to act quickly.
Symptoms include: vigorous panting, unsteady gait, thick saliva or
froth from the mouth, vomiting, pale gums, lethargy or collapsing. You
want to cool him down swiftly, but not so abruptly that you shock his
system. Cover him
with a sheet and apply cool water. (Don't use ice, this cools them too
quickly.) You can also put your pet in a tub of cool (not cold) water.
Encourage him to drink, but do not offer ice water. If you are going to
rinse him with a hose, let the water run for a few minutes to get the
water out of the line. Finally take him to the veterinarian. Even if
seem all right, you veterinarian will completely check him over for any
Using good judgment and common sense can bring you and your pets
through the hot summer in fine shape.
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