Summertime means fun in the sun, but also a lot of heat exposure. If you think the heat gets unbearable for you, just imagine how it must feel for your fur-covered pets! Higher temperatures mean a greater risk of heat stroke, as well as more injuries and more infections.
With this in mind, here are a few tips from a veterinarian that can help you keep your pets in Saint Francisville, LA safe in the summer heat over these next few months:
- Make sure they get plenty of shade and water: Dehydration is one of the most common causes of heat stroke during the summer. Dogs get even thirstier than humans when they get hot, so make sure you’re giving them plenty of water to drink, and keep water on hand when you’re planning to be outside for long periods of time. Bring along a water bottle for your dog when going on walks, just as you would for yourself. You can tell your dog is getting dehydrated if it drools excessively or has dry gums.
- Know the signs of overheating: Dogs have a normal body temperature of 100 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher means they could be at risk for some serious health issues. Signs of overheating include heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, wobbly legs, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Never leave pets in a hot car: If you take your pet on the road with you this summer, it’s crucial that you not leave them inside a hot car. Less than 10 minutes trapped inside a car can cause heat stroke for cats and dogs. This is not just dangerous, but also illegal in many states, so if you see a pet trapped inside a hot car, call the police right away.
- Avoid shaves or close cuts: Some people think giving a pet a shave or a nice close haircut will help them stay cool in the summer, but this actually has the opposite effect. Your pets’ coats are designed to keep them naturally cool during the summer and warm in the winter. While you can certainly get your pet groomed, you should avoid shaving or buzzing the hair super close to the skin. There should be at least a full inch of hair to give your pet’s skin that natural protection it needs from the sun.
- Know when to walk: If you’re going to take your dog on a walk, make sure the conditions are appropriate. It’s better to walk early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun is no longer at its hottest and directly overhead. This also helps you avoid issues with overly hot pavement, which can quickly burn your dog’s paw pads.
These are just a few tips that will help you keep your pet safe this summer in Saint Franciscville, LA. For more information and tips, we encourage you to contact St. Francisville Animal Hospital to speak with an experienced veterinarian. We look forward to helping you and your pet enjoy the summertime to its fullest!
Categorised in: Summer