How to keep your best friend happy this summer: pet tips from professional trainers
"Hot" is different for all of us, but the ASPCA provides some specific advice for determining if your pet is getting overheated. The symptoms of an overheated dog or cat "include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse."
Overheating can lead to a heatstroke if it isn't addressed. If you believe your pet is suffering from a heatstroke, do what you can to cool them off. Find shade or air conditioning, use ice packs or cold towels to lower their temperature, and call your vet right away.
Pet Tips to Keep Your Fur Baby Happy
1. Never leave your pet in the car
The inside temperature of a car increases approximately 20 degrees in 10 minutes. That balmy 75-degree day can turn your car into a 109-degree sauna in 30 minutes. And, no, leaving the windows cracked doesn't change the situation. According to heatkills.org, cracking the windows makes a "negligible" difference in the internal temperature of your car.
What can you do instead? Leave your dog at home, patronize businesses that allow pets, or bring a friend to hang out with your dog while you run errands.
2. Make sure they have plenty of cool water
Dogs and cats can get dehydrated in hot weather just like humans. A source of cool water not only helps them stay hydrated, it also helps keep them cool.
3. Make pupsicles
Fill a Kong with your dog's favorite treat and put it in the freezer overnight. Your dog gets a cool, tasty activity, and you don't have to entertain him.
4. Keep the cool spots open
Cats are good at finding cool spots to settle in when the weather heats up. Tubs and tile floors are favorites, so make sure your cat can get to their favorite "chill" hangout.
5. Watch the pavement
Sidewalks and asphalt heat up quickly in the summer sun. Try taking your dog for walks early in the morning or late in the evening. If you do need to walk your dog in the heat of the day, make sure they can walk on grass so they don't burn their paws.
6. Groom your pet
Dogs and cats may shed a lot as the weather warms up. But if all that extra fur doesn't go somewhere, it just builds up, making your dog's or cat's coat an extra layer holding in body heat. Brush your pet regularly to remove extra fur and help keep their skin healthy.
7. Don't shave your dog
The intention is usually good, but shaving your dog won't help them keep cool. Their fur helps protect them from sunburn.
8. Go swimming
Swimming is an excellent way to stay cool and get exercise, but don't leave your dog unattended. Even dogs who are good swimmers may have trouble getting out of a pool or may become tired swimming in a lake.
9. Be aware of breed-specific health conditions
Flat-faced dogs and cats, like pugs or Persian cats, are "more susceptible to heat stroke," according to PetMD. Make sure they have plenty of access to shade, cool water, and even air conditioning.
10. Watch what your dog eats at summer BBQs
Everyone, even your dog, enjoys a good summer BBQ. But a lot of human foods are poisonous to dogs. Frequent BBQ offenders include onions, grapes, and alcohol and can all send your dog to the hospital.
Pet Tips to Keep Your "Other" Pets Cool
- Dogs and cats aren't the only animals that need to stay cool in the summer. Keep your hamsters or Guinea pigs cool by moving their cage out of direct sunlight and freezing their hideout.
- Keep a bathing dish full of cool water accessible for your birds and give them a "misting" occasionally throughout the day.
- Put a few ice cubes in your ferrets' water dish so they have a cold toy and cool water.
If you want your pet to have a happy summer, pet tips for hot weather are your key to keeping them safe and healthy. Take care of them all year long, too, with pet insurance from Pekin Insurance. Get in touch with a Pekin Insurance agent today to get the coverage your best friend deserves.