Pet Health During Hot Weather
Pet Health During Hot Weather is something every Pet owner needs to pay close attention to.
Summer is a fun time of year, and it is great to spend time outdoors with your Pet. For four-footed friends, however, hot weather can be extremely dangerous. It is important to avoid overheating and dehydration. A big danger to watch out for is leaving your dog or cat in a vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can become a death trap. Never leave pets alone in a Car, even for a few moments.
Make sure to avoid dehydration in the heat. Cats and dogs need extra water when the temperature rises, so be sure to bring water with you wherever you go. Be sure to exercise your pet in the early morning or evening, rather than in the middle of the day, to avoid overheating. Watch out for paw burns, and try to keep your animal in the shade or bring them indoors.
Elderly and overweight animals are especially prone to problems in hot weather. Certain cat and dog breeds are also especially sensitive to heat, in particular animals with flat faces (such as Pugs or Persian cats), because their panting mechanism is not efficient. Any animal that is in poor health, such as those with heart or lung problems, should be kept inside.
During summer, animals are sometimes injured, often seriously or fatally, after falling from windows or doors. These accidents, known as “High-Rise Syndrome”, are preventable by means of simple precautions. Make sure windows are screened, or that unscreened windows and door are closed. Adjustable screens need to be secured securely.
Pet Health During Hot Weather: Warning Signs
Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of overheating, which include difficulty breathing, excessive panting, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, stupor or collapse. Bloody diarrhea, vomiting and seizures are also symptoms of overheating. Also, be on the lookout for temperatures over 104 degrees.
Drowning is always a danger for pets. Be careful to supervise your dogs around pools, lakes or ponds, since dogs are not always good swimmers. On boats they can wear Pet flotation devices. Be sure to rinse your dogs off thoroughly after swimming to rinse chlorine, chemicals or salt off fur. Do not allow your dogs or cats to drink pool water, since it is full of chemicals and chlorine.
Just like humans, pets can get sunburn. Try to keep your pets in the shade, and apply sunscreen to areas which are sensitive to the sun like the nose, tips of ears, belly and groin area. Due to thinner hair and skin in these areas they are more likely to burn. Do not over groom your pet and risk sunburn.
Finally, a visit to the veterinarian is a necessary way to prepare your animal companion for summer weather. Take your pet in the spring or early summer, and make sure they get tested for heart worm. Also be sure to talk with your veterinarian about parasite prevention, and discuss how to control fleas and ticks. Your animal’s doctor is a great resource for finding out more about summer health and safety.