Help Your Pet Stay Cool This Summer

It’s great to enjoy the summer with your pet.  But it’s also the time when they have the greatest risk of injury and heat-related health problems. So here are some tips on keeping things cool this summer.

  • Watch for Signs of Heatstroke - Rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles, a dazed look.  Wrap them in a towel soaked with cool, not cold, water.  In severe cases, place them in the bathtub.  Heatstroke can be fatal.  See us as soon as possible.
  • Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car - Not even if you crack the windows or park in the shade. On a 70° day, the car temperature can rise above 150° in minutes. It’s extremely dangerous. And the number one cause of heatstroke.
  • Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date - This is the time when most pets come in contact with other animals at parks, campgrounds etc.
  • Always Provide Plenty of Fresh Water - Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting.  Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouth and nose helps lower body temperature.
  • Stop External Parasites Before They Bite - Fleas, ticks and ear mites thrive in warm, humid environments.  See us for a preventive program.
  • Avoid Internal Parasites - Be sure your dog has been heartworm tested and is on a preventive.
  • Find a Cool Spot - For indoor pets, keep the air circulating with a child-proof fan or air conditioner.  Provide shade for outdoor pets.  A gentle sprinkle from a hose is always appreciated.  
  • The Streets Aren’t Safe - Don’t let your pet roam.  Just in case, make sure your pet is licensed. We see twice as many fight injuries and bite wounds in summer.  And, of course, your pet is no match for a car.
  • The Yard Isn’t Always Safe Either - Be cautious of pesticides and herbicides.  Read the precautions for lawn chemicals carefully and keep pets away from newly-treated yards.  If pets come in contact with chemicals, wash their feet, abdomen and chest thoroughly, then contact us.
  • Brush After Every Meal- Frequent brushing provides early warning of parasites and skin infections by lifting the coat, permitting a view of the skin below.
  • It’s Allergy Season - People sneeze. Pets scratch.  Common pet allergies include pollen, grass and weeds.  If your pet scratches excessively or chews at its paws, bring it in for an exam.  We can design a program to help.
  • Watch the Exercise and Diet - Don’t encourage exercise during the hottest part of the day.  Let them eat less.  Overeating can lead to overheating.
  • Not Every Dog Paddles Well - Animals in the water for the first time should be eased in, never thrown or chased in.  Don’t let them drink from pools, streams or the ocean.  If they swim, rinse them off.  Salt and minerals can damage a dog’s coat.
  • Sunburn Is No Day at the Beach - It hurts.  Short-haired pets and those with pink skin and white hair are especially susceptible.  Limit their exposure.