Summer is a fun time for both pets and their owners. There’s the promise of hikes, longer days for play time and dips in the pool. But the hot weather also comes with a few unique pet care challenges. Just like humans, your dog or cat can be affected by the warm temperatures or some bad barbecue. Unfortunately, mishandling certain situations could turn a fun three-day weekend into a costly trip to the emergency vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. That’s why pet safety should be a top priority this season.
Here are five tips for keeping your pet happy, healthy and safe this summer:
- Keep it cool: Humans start to sweat when they become too hot, but dogs and cats can’t do that. Instead, they pant and release heat through their paw pads in an attempt to cool themselves. Some breeds and elderly dogs are unable to pant enough to lower their internal temperature. This makes them more susceptible to heat stroke. Make sure to always provide your pet with access to fresh water and a cool spot to rest during the hottest parts of the day.
- Deal with diarrhea: Diarrhea is bound to happen between too many scraps from the family barbecue, extreme heat and stress from human companions being away on vacation. If this happens, fast the dog for approximately 18 to 24 hours to help them clear the irritant from their system. Then, feed them a bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice until everything returns to normal. If the vomiting continues for an extended period of time, or if they become lethargic, it’s time to call your vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
- Be careful outside: A romp through the grass could turn into a medical emergency. Ticks and other bugs can be a major issue during the summer. These bugs often carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, that can be deadly to your pet. You also need to worry about how you attempt to ward them off, as fertilizers and pesticides can be toxic if ingested. Keep grass cut short to reduce the amount of bugs and watch for any hazard warnings on lawn products.
- Consider sunscreen: Pets with short hair and delicate, pink skin might need a layer of sunscreen to help prevent sunburns. Talk to your vet about the best options for your pet’s skin. Only use formulas specifically designed for animals, as some ingredients in human sunscreen can cause drooling, vomiting and diarrhea if consumed by a pet.
- Remember water safety: Not all dogs are born great swimmers. Watch your pet when they are in or around water. Even the best swimmer could struggle if they were to get trapped under a rip tide while swimming in the ocean. Get your dog a life preserver for those more adventurous summer water activities, such as paddling or kayaking.
Don’t forget that Newkirk Family Veterinarians is available all year long. We’re always ready for everything, from your regular checkup to an emergency visit after your dog ate a bottle of sunscreen. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ!