Dog Days of Summer
Summer is here and the weather is heating up! If you plan to take Fido with you for some summer fun, remember that the sweltering heat can take its toll on your dog. Make sure to keep your pup safe and healthy with these tips:
Never leave your pet in the car
During the hot summer days, the inside of your car can reach an unbearable 120 degrees in just a matter of minutes, even in the shade. It’s never a good idea, even if the weather doesn’t seem too hot outside.
Watch out for fertilizers and deadly plants
Before you spread that fertilizer on your lawn, read up on the ingredients. Many plant foods, fertilizers and insecticides can be fatal if ingested by your pet. Also, watch to make sure your pet isn’t snacking on any plants or flowers- more than 700 plants can product toxic substances in amounts high enough to cause harmful effects in animals.
Avoid hot sidewalks
It’s easy to forget how hot pavement, blacktop and sand can get. Your dog’s paws can easily get burned on these types of surfaces. Walk your pup on grass or dirt to avoid burning their paws.
Keep your dog cool on hot days
Give your dog plenty of water and offer them several ways to cool off. Make sure you always have a supply of water on hand for your pup- whether you’re in the backyard or strolling through the park. If you’re out and about, carry an extra bottle of water and a small container they can drink from. Be sure to refill your pup’s water bowl more often than usual on hot days and even add some ice cubes to his water. At home, make sure your pet’s water dish is in the shade so the water stays as cool as possible. Leave a fan where your dog can easily sit in front of it and enjoy the breeze.
Take walks during cooler hours
Avoid the midday heat and exercise your dog during the cooler hours of the morning or evening.
Don’t leave your dog outside alone for more than a few minutes
Even in the shade, a dog exposed to extreme heat and humidity is at risk for heatstroke.
Keep your pets tick and flea free
Summer brings ticks, fleas and heartworms. Depending upon the climate where you live, there are varying recommendations for prevention. Check with your vet to ensure you’re doing what you can to help protect your pet.
Reconsider bringing your pet along to crowded summer events
It’s tempting to bring your pup along to the local Farmer’s Market or parade, but your pet is likely better off at home. The heat, noise, crowds and general excitement can cause your pet a lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress.
Practice good water safety for your pup
If you take your pet out to the beach or on a boat, it’s important to know your pup’s physical ability. Theoretically, all dogs can swim. However, some breeds are prone to having more difficulty than others. If you’re unsure of your dog’s ability to swim, fit them with a personal flotation device (PFD). Life jackets made for dogs help keep their head above the surface and have a handle on the back to make it easier to grab them out of the water. Don’t ever force your dog to swim; take it slow and have reasonable expectations.
Be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include: panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse. If you think your pet might have heat stroke, get to the vet ASAP. Heat stroke is nothing to mess around with and can cause permanent organ damage and even death. Breeds with shorter noses (like Pugs, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Bulldogs and Boxers) as well as young pups or senior dogs are especially vulnerable to developing heat stroke
Keep your pets safe and happy this summer by incorporating these helpful tips. Sign up for Farm Bureau’s monthly newsletter to receive more information that can help keep you and your family safe.
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