It’s the middle of August and the sun is at it’s hottest, and if you’re feeling it, your pets are feeling it, too. Here are a few tips to keeping your pets safe, healthy, and comfortable in the heat.
Stock up on Preventatives: Fleas and mosquitoes love to come out when the weather starts heating up, and thanks to the unusually warm winter months, they are extremely pervasive this season. Avoid slacking on giving your pets the medicine to prevent these pests from biting and transferring diseases or worms to your pet. Generic formulas make it easier and cheaper to keep your pet treated.
Keep an Eye Out: When you take your dog to a dog park, make sure you read park rules before heading out. Good dog park etiquette includes cleaning up after your dog and minding their social skills. No matter how much you prepare, however, accidents can happen. Keeping a pet first aid kit in your car is a good way to be able to respond to injury quickly. Since dogs benefit from interacting with one another, try going to the dog park on off hours or scheduling play time with neighbor dogs in a backyard.
Watch for Allergic Reactions: Cats and dogs can both develop allergic reactions to pollen. Watch for signs of excess chewing, biting, scratching, sneezing, or redness. Monitor the pollen count and keep pets inside on days that are going to be particularly heavy. Benadryl can relieve pet allergy symptoms, but make sure to talk to your vet about dosage amounts before giving it to your pet. Oatmeal shampoos do a great job at relieving itching in dogs and cats alike.
Keep Pets Cool: Make sure your pets have access to cool areas at all times. For outdoor dogs, try filling 2-liter bottles with water, freezing them, and putting them in the doghouse. It will allow your pets to keep from overheating when they’re in their house. We also recommend keeping your doghouse in the shade. Heatstroke can affect dogs quickly, especially if they have thick, dark coats. For indoor pets, keep your A/C on if you’re planning on spending the day out. If it would be too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets. Another way to keep them cool is to give them ice cubes or frozen veggies as treats!
Protect Delicate Skin: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs and the second most common in cats. Even though fur provides good sun protection, it would be a good idea to get a pet sun block to apply to sensitive areas like the bellies of dogs and the ears and around the eyes of cats. Use products made specifically for pets because zinc-oxide – a main ingredient in sunscreen – can be toxic to pets. Also, you may be tempted to shave your pet or trim their fur short in the summer months, but don’t! A pet’s fur provides circulation and keeps them cool in the heat and helps to regulate their body temperature.
Hydration, hydration, hydration: Always have clean, cold water available for your pets; they can easily get dehydrated in the summer heat. It’s also a great idea to give your pets filtered water. If you feel that the contaminants in your tap water are bad for your health, skin, and hair, they’re also bad for your pets’. Using a water filtration system and giving your dog healthy water to drink is one of the best things you can do to keep them healthy and hydrated in the summer heat!
Enjoy the rest of the summer heat!