Summer months bring heat and fireworks
As the weather gets warmer, millions of Americans and their pets are spending more time outside. Petland has some great tips to make sure your furry friends enjoy the summer months too!
1. Be aware of heatstroke and hot temperatures: The heat, however, is the biggest threat for pets during the hot summer months.
“Every year, thousands of pets die from overexposure to heat. It’s usually because their owners leave their pets in cars while they shop or run a quick errand,” said Brian Winslow, vice president of Animal Welfare Education for Petland, Inc. in Chillicothe, Ohio. According to Petland, leaving a pet inside a closed automobile for just 10 to 20 minutes is risky on an 80-degree day as temperatures can quickly rise to 120 degrees Fahrenheit inside — enough heat to kill a pet. Even 10 minutes inside a hot car is enough to cause exhaustive heatstroke in cats and small dogs. Rabbits, hamsters and birds have even less of a chance for survival.
Heatstroke in a pet is easy to diagnose early on. Some first signs are quite visible.
They include excessive panting, salivation and a racing pulse. The pet also will have a
high body temperature and may vomit. When a pet experiences some of the warning signs of heatstroke, it may be too risky to just drive the pet to a veterinarian.
Submerging a pet’s body in cool water or pouring cool water over its body can help. Ice packs, if available, can be used to lower body temperature, too. Pet owners also should rinse the pet’s mouth with cool water, offering ice chips or very small amounts of water to drink. It is best to keep cool water or cold packs on the heat-exhausted pet until reaching the veterinarian. The medical professional can then take a temperature reading and thoroughly examine the pet.
And remember, that dogs (and cats) with flatter faces, like Pugs and Boston Terriers, don’t pant as well and should therefore be kept in cooler or air-conditioned environements.
2. Be careful keeping the bugs away: Citronella and Insect repellents can be toxic to pets. Keep them out of reach and only treat your pets with products specifically designed for canine use. Summer is also a time when fleas and ticks are prevalent so make sure you are regularly treating your pet with preventative topicals or collars.
3. Hot surfaces: Just like you can burn the bottoms of your feet when you walk on hot pavement, your pet’s paws can burn too so take precautions to keep their paws cool and healthy. Walking in a shady or grassy area, taking walks in the morning or evening, and even protective booties can help prevent their paws from burning. And remember, those long walks on the beach are no fun if the sand is too hot!
4. Home Safety: If your windows don’t have screens, be sure to monitor your pets so they don’t attempt to jump out. And never leave a pet alone around a pool, some are better swimmers than others!
5. Gardening safety: If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, be sure to keep an eye on them around your garden. There are many kinds of plants that can be harmful to pets if ingested. And don’t forget to keep plant food and bags of treated soil out of your pet’s reach!
6. Grooming: Although it’s tempting to cut your pet’s hair or fur short for the summer, try to avoid the urge. The hair and fur actually help the pet regulate their body temperature. Sunscreen can also be used on dogs with thinner skin.
7. Leave your pet at home during the fireworks festivities: According to national statistics, there is a 30-60% increase in lost pets between July 4th and July 6th because of noisy fireworks. While families love to watch the colorful fireworks displays, often this is very stressful for a pet. Unfamiliar crowds and noises can be frightening for a pet. The best place for your pet is at home. If you do bring your pet, make sure it has all of the proper identification. And remember to keep them away from fireworks, sparklers and glow jewelry (which could be accidentally chewed and ingested.)
8. Avoid feeding Bella table scraps: With all of the backyard cookouts, it’s easy to slip your pet a treat. Instead, make sure you have some healthy pet treats available so your pet doesn’t feel left out. Especially keep pets away from coffee, alcohol, chocolate, onions, avocado, grapes and raisins.