Summer temperatures often result in spending extra time outdoors with our family and our pets. This summer, while you and your family play outdoors, remember that your pet’s body responds differently to rising temperatures. As pet owners, it’s our job to make sure our animals beat the heat so they can stay healthy and happy all season long. The following are five important summertime health tips for your pet from a vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
- Take walks in the early morning or late at night. Before the sun fully rises and after it sets are the best times to be outdoors with your pet during the summer. Not only are these cool parts of the day more comfortable for you and your dog, it also prevents your pet from burning his sensitive paws on the hot asphalt.
- Never leave a pet in a parked car. Pets should never be left alone in a car for any duration of time. They shouldn’t even be left in the car if it is running and the air conditioning is on. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows open can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Always bring your pet with you inside the store, or leave them at home in the air conditioning.
- Ensure your pet always has access to water. Whether inside or outside, your cat or dog should always have clean water available to drink. This becomes especially important in summer months because cold water helps pets cool their body temperature. If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure to bring a water bottle and portable bowl with you, and give them the opportunity to drink periodically. Signs of dehydration in animals can include panting, drooling and lack of energy.
- Be aware of and on the lookout for signs of heatstroke. Hot temperatures can cause heatstroke in cats and dogs. Major signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, vomiting and seizures, among other symptoms. Very old and very young pets are at especially high risk of heatstroke. If you believe your pet may have heatstroke, immediately remove them from the heat, provide them with water and bring them to a veterinarian.
- Get creative with ways to cool your pet. There are many unique ways to keep your pet cool in the summer months. For dogs, set up a sprinkler in the shade and let them play in the cool water, or let them go for a swim in the pool. You can also spray your dog on his stomach and paws with chilled water. Give your pet a cool bath, or add ice cubes to their drinking water for them to play with and chew.
Through these tips, you and your furry friend will be able to beat the heat both outdoors and indoors. For more information on keeping your pet healthy in the summer, speak to a local vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ at Newkirk Family Veterinarians.