Spring has sprung! Warmer weather is calling us all to go outside and play. For many of us, we like to take our pets with us on our outdoor adventures. As the warm weather beckons, here are a few tips to make sure the warmer days of spring and summer are safe ones for our pets.
• Time for a Checkup: A springtime trip to your vet for a checkup is a must. Your vet will check for any health changes that could adversely affect your pet during the heat of the summer. You’ll also want to make sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, is being treated for fleas and ticks, and has had a heart worm test. With a clean bill of health, your pet will be ready to join you for summer fun.
• Be Prepared for the Heat:
- Water – Our pets can become dehydrated much more easily than we can. Make sure to have lots of clean, fresh water available.
- Shade – Too much time in the sun can cause our pets to overheat quickly. Make sure there is a shady spot close by for your pet. If no shade is available, keep outdoor time short and get them back inside right away if they begin to pant excessively or become lethargic.
- Parked Cars – You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. Do not leave your pet in a parked car even for a little while. Even with the windows vented, the temperature in a parked vehicle can quickly rise to a deadly level.
• Swimming Pools: Never assume your pet is an expert swimmer. Treat a swimming pool as the same threat for your pet as you would for a toddler. If you take your pet into the pool or other body of water, carefully supervise your pet to make sure it is safe. If your pet has been in a chlorinated pool or in salt water, rinse him/her off with fresh water after exiting the water. If possible, try to keep your pet from drinking the chlorinated water.
• Asphalt: Hot asphalt poses two risks for your pet. The most obvious is the potential for burned paws. The second is less obvious but just as dangerous. We all know how much heat boils up off asphalt on hot summer days. Remember, your pet’s entire body is close to that asphalt, so the chances of your pet overheating are increased dramatically.
• Lawn Chemicals: Many of the chemicals used on lawns can be toxic for our pets. Those chemicals can also irritate their paws. Always clean your pet’s paws after they’ve been outside. That will help prevent the ingestion of toxic chemicals should your pet lick its paws.
• Hair Trimming: Warmer weather is a good time for a trim if your pet has a coat that requires routine trimming. A professional groomer will know the best length for your pet’s coat during warmer weather. If you prefer to do it yourself, keep in mind that your pet’s coat is a natural layer of protection from the sun. If you trim your pet’s coat too close to the skin or shave it completely, it can cause your pet to overheat much more quickly and can result in a painful sunburn.
We hope these warm weather tips have been helpful and we hope you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable spring and summer.