Keeping pets safe and happy in Summer temperatures
Summer poses all sorts of new and interesting challenges for pets, including extreme heat. And , we’ve already been experiencing record high temperatures all across the nation. So, how do we outdoor-loving pet-owners help our furry friends remain happy and healthy throughout this scorching season?
Keep ‘em cool: The best cure for summer heat is to keep your pets cool. For my cat this means finding a cool bit of tile in the shaded corner of the kitchen and sleeping the day away. This isn’t an option for the hyperactive-blur-of-fur which is my pup; he wants to be out and about all day long. Know that feeling? Dogs don’t sweat to cool themselves like we do, the pads of their feet and their panting tongues are their means of cooling off. You can help them out by making sure they have access to shaded areas (especially important for dogs kept outdoors) and providing them with plenty of cool water.
Keep ‘em hydrated: Make sure your pets have plenty of fresh water no matter where you go. If you’re on the go, take along a bottle of water for the pooch. There are even these neat little on-the-go water dishes for dogs which make it easy for your pup to stay hydrated. Beware of dogs drinking from natures water fountain – ponds and streams can be host to bacteria such as Giardia which can cause stomach upset and diarrhea (followed by a trip to the vet to treat it), never a fun thing for anyone.
Protect ‘em from heat: NEVER leave your pets in a parked car, even if you crack the windows. This should go without saying, but I’ll cover the bases anyway. Your car can rapidly increase in internal temperature when sitting in the sun (or even in the shade). Your pet can’t escape when it becomes a veritable oven. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
Now that the winter freeze is over, we can say hello again to the fleas, ticks and mosquitos that like to drive our pets to madness.
Prevent ’em: The most obvious guard against these pests is prevention – use monthly flea, tick and heartworm treatments. Heartworms are introduced to your pet via mosquitos that have picked up the baby worms elsewhere and pass them on to your pet. They are exactly what they sound like. Worms invade your pet’s heart, filling it to the point that blood can no longer pump its way through. You can imagine the discomfort this causes, and eventual death. It can be treated, but it is painful and expensive to kill off those adult worms. It’s easy to prevent, don’t let this be your pet’s fate! Put the treatment schedule on your calendar so you remember to treat them each month, don’t let bugs in!
Check ‘em: Inspect your pets regularly for pests. Be sure to check your pet’s fur for ticks, including under the collar, and especially after spending time in wooded areas. Fold back the fur (against the way it lays naturally) to look for the tell-tale black specs that may indicate fleas. You might even be able to spot one of the tiny bugs jump back into the fur to hide. If you get fleas, take immediate action to relieve the itching frustration of your furry friend. Use a bath and flea treatment to kill the little parasites. You may consider a pet-safe powder to treat your carpets as well.