Summer pet dangers: how to keep your pets cool and safe
Hot temperatures can be very dangerous for our four-legged friends. They can succumb to heat stroke, dehydration and even get sunburned – all of which can be prevented. In order to keep your dog safe, here are some important things you need to know about summer hazards and prevention:
- Never leave your pet unattended in the car. Even cracked windows won’t protect your pet from overheating or suffering heat stroke on hot days.
- Limit exercise to morning or evening hours. Take extra care with older pets, overweight pets and short nosed dogs.
- Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. If the ground is too hot for you to comfortably go barefoot, it is too hot for your dog.
- On really hot days, leave your pet inside with the air conditioning on and plenty of water. If your dog must be left outside, leave him in the shade with plenty of fresh, cool water in a tip proof bowl.
- Keep your pet well groomed. A matted coat traps in heat. Resist the temptation to shave off your pet’s hair in an effort to keep him cool. Your pet’s coat will protect him from getting sunburned.
- Summer means mosquitoes in MN. Have your dog tested for heartworm and get your pet started on a heartworm preventative.
- If your dog must travel in the back of an open vehicle, make sure he is in a kennel that is tethered to the floor of the truck bed.
- Keep an eye out for spots or puddles of auto coolant. The sweet taste of this poisonous liquid is attractive to pets but can be fatal.
- Keep your pet away from lawns and grassy areas that have just been treated with chemicals. Pesticides and fertilizers can cause severe intestinal upset when ingested.
- Never leave your pet unattended by a swimming pool. The dog may fall in. Not all dogs naturally swim and the dog may drown.
By the time your dog is exhibiting the first symptoms of overheating, he’s already experiencing discomfort. The signs of heat stroke are: excessive panting or drooling, anxious or staring expression, fast pulse rate and high body temp which can lead to vomiting, staggering gait, non responsiveness and collapse. As soon as you see any of these signs, immerse your pet in cool water or wet him with a garden hose, then get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.