Get a Summer Check-Up
During warmer and hotter climates, parasites and other diseases are more prevalent in the environment and thereby increase the likelihood that your pet gets infected. Consider a summer checkup to ensure that they are still healthy, especially if they are not on any year-round preventative medications for things like heartworm. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are also out and about, transferring illnesses along with them! Checkups are without doubt a great move.
Minimize Exercise on Hot Days
Like humans, exercise and activity for pets is far more tiring and exhausting on a hot day. Make sure that your pet is not overexerted during times of hot climate, as heat stroke, severe dehydration, and other ailments can quickly develop. If you do choose to take your pet out on a walk or to the park, bring plenty of water (fresh water of course) to quench their thirst. It is also advised to feed them cold water, so perhaps use an insulated container to carry the water. Take breaks in the shade often to allow them to recharge as well! Some species of dogs tend to be better adapted to hot weather, so do research into which breeds you should be cautious of.
Look out for symptoms of heat stroke
Overheating and heat stroke are very common issues in pets, especially short snouted dogs such as pugs and french bulldogs who have a hard time breathing. Other short legged dogs, however, are also susceptible to heat stroke, because they have to exert a lot more energy to walk which can result in a quicker rise in body temperature.
Heat stroke occurs when the pet is left in an area with little to no ventilation. Unlike humans, pets are unable to regulate their body temperature through sweating, since they only have a minimal amount of sweat glands in their paws. Instead, they pant to cool themselves down, and in higher temperatures, this can often lead to heavy panting which is one of the first signs of heat stroke, on top of drooling, weakness, and a rapid heartbeat. However, you may also see symptoms such as higher body temperatures, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or even loss of consciousness.
If you suspect your pet is overheating or has a heat stroke, it’s best to gradually pour water onto their stomach, head, armpits, and feet. However, make sure that the water is not ice cold, or it may shock the pet. Another way to reduce overheating is to fill a bathtub with cool water and carefully place your pet in the water. In severe cases, it’s recommended to call the veterinary hospital right away and get professional treatment as soon as possible.
Keep your pet supervised
Whether you’re at a summer pool party or barbeque event, it’s important to keep close watch over your pet. On all occasions, though, make sure your pet is not maintaining contact with hot surfaces for long periods of time, as this can cause them to heat up quickly and burn.
During pool parties, leaving your pet unsupervised is a bad idea, as they can fall into the water and unintentionally drink the chemical-infused pool water. Many dogs are unable to swim, so they can easily drown when you aren’t looking. If you want to teach your pet how to swim, it’s recommended to put them in flotation devices so they can gradually get comfortable with the new skill. After your pet is finished with swimming, remember to wipe them off with the towel to remove the remaining chemicals or salt in their fur.
In barbecues or other summer events, there are many foods and beverages that can be harmful to your pet’s wellbeing. Guests at the party may try to secretly feed a snack to your pet, but it may contain harmful ingredients or interfere with their normal diets, which can cause digestive issues. There might also be alcoholic drinks or poisonous snacks lying around that your pet can easily snatch away, so make sure you’re keeping your pet in close proximity. Alcohol can cause depression and coma in animals, while many foods such as chocolate, raisins, and onions can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even heart failure. If your pet experiences food poisoning, call your vet, so they can give you helpful resources. In severe cases, however, it’s better to call the veterinary hospital.