The official start of summer is just a few days away! This means plenty of sun screen, backyard barbecues, concerts in the park, and for those heading to the beach for relief, the inevitable traffic congestion and competition for limited parking. While many of us will take the necessary precautions against extreme heat, we will eventually hear about yet another distressed animal trapped inside a hot car and the hero who came to the rescue. We will shake our heads collectively at the lack of common sense and applaud the good Samaritan who took life-saving action.
Knowing about pet safety before the summer season is in full swing, will help to reduce the risk of injury or an outright tragedy. We have five sensible guidelines here for pets to survive in scorching weather conditions. Please join us below for review!
Never leave pets in the car!
Although we touched briefly on this topic, it bears repeating for emphasis. When temperatures soar, the interior of a car without proper ventilation (a cracked window means nothing!), can reach over 100 degrees within minutes. Any animal subjected to this intensity can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage, or suffocation. Medical attention must be immediate! Please keep in mind that leaving a pet unattended under any circumstance can also attract the wrong kind of person who may take or harm a pet, especially if the pet is trusting.
You may be asking, what does summer have to do with pet health? Since being outdoors is what summer is all about, many companion animals spend more time outside than usual during warm weather. Backyards and other destinations such as parks and beaches can be home to fleas and ticks, and even Mosquitos. Make a point to get your pet a full check-up including a heartworm test, and have a plan in place to combat disease-carrying parasites.
We all know what hot cement or asphalt feels like under bare feet, so it’s not hard to imagine the discomfort to your pet for any length of time. Avoid giving your dog a “hot foot” by going for a walk earlier in the morning or later in the evening. If your schedule is such that it is impossible to start earlier or later, consider going to a park where the lawn will be more tolerable and be sure to bring plenty of water to keep your canine friend hydrated.
When your home is closed-up tight during the day without the benefit of air conditioning for pets inside, temperatures can reach dangerous levels. Instead of running the unit full throttle, consider setting the thermostat to 76 degrees to offset cooling costs. Closing the curtains or blinds or even installing blackout curtains can reduce indoor temperatures. No matter the time of year, provide pets with plenty of water, and if pets are kept outdoors, a covered area and comfortable place to relax are essential. For added safety, cut back on insecticides and other dangerous chemicals around the yard and for the grilling-enthusiast, keep in mind that meat on the grill is a temptation for any animal.
Older pets, those of puppy age, those carrying around extra weight, and the short-nosed breeds are less tolerant of heat, including, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs, and Shih Tzu’s. Extra care is needed for these pets more susceptible to falling ill on the hottest days of the year. When out and about, keep an eye on these fragile pets as well as all other pets, and head to the nearest vet pronto if you notice glassy eyes or frantic panting.