Pet Safety Tips for a Texas Summer
If there’s one thing that Texans know, it’s how to survive the heat. Learn how to prepare your pet for hot days, too, with Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital’s favorite tips for summer pet safety.
Summer Pet Safety Considerations
When enjoying time with your pet this summer, it is a good idea to be aware of potential pitfalls that can ruin your good time. Take notice of:
- Table scraps at outing and barbeques
- Motor vehicles
- Unattended swimming spots that can be drowning hazards or harbor algae
- Dirty water that can irritate the skin or cause gastrointestinal problems
- Parasites like fleas and heartworms
- Damage to paws from hot pavement, sand, etc.
How to Prepare Your Pet for Hot Days
Pets can become acclimated to the heat. Allowing them to have short, supervised stints outdoors can help them to gradually tolerate longer outings.
If you are wondering how long your pet can stay out in the sun, the answer can vary quite a bite among individuals. Pets that are overweight, very old, very young, have a short nose, or have health problems are at greatest risk of heat exhaustion. Choosing to center your activities around the cooler parts of the day is helpful.
Avoid shaving your double-coated pet. Fur provides protection from the sun, and, believe it or not, actually insulates against the heat.
Any time you head outdoors with your pet, be sure that they have access to shade or shelter and a supply of cool, fresh water. Never leave your pet outdoors unattended for any length of time and remember that even a minute alone in a vehicle is too long.
Heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, is a very real danger for pets in the summer months. It can have devastating consequences.
It is important to recognize early signs that your pet may be overheating. As body temperature rises, animals often:
- Become restless
- Have increased heart and respiratory rates
- Experience vomiting or diarrhea
If you notice these things, it is definitely time to get your pet out of the heat. Unchecked, these symptoms can progress to weakness, incoordination, gasping for air, seizures, coma, and even death.
It is important to contact us immediately if you are concerned that your pet may be overheated. Cool towels may be placed under the belly and on the paws to help bring the body’s temperature down, but the animal must be treated by a professional as soon as possible.
Keep yourself and your pets cool this summer and avoid an emergency situation. A little planning can help to avert a major crisis.