When the warm weather hits, it’s only natural that you’d want to spend as much time outside as possible. And what’s a sunny day at the pool or walk to the ice cream truck without your favorite furry companion? But just like humans, pets can overheat and suffer from dehydration. Keep an eye on Fido on those hot and humid days by following this pet safety checklist.
1. Make sure your pet is up to date on:
Heartworm, flea, and tick preventives
Identification (phone number on the collar/tags, microchip)
2. Follow these water safety tips:
Make sure your dog can swim before letting them in the water. Not all dogs are natural swimmers (bulldogs are a good example).
Don't let your dog drink too much salt water, as excessive salt water ingestion can lead to salt toxicity (this can be fatal).
Watch those currents!
3. Keep dogs cool:
Schedule walks at night or early morning.
Make frequent stops for water and shade.
Keep paws cool by avoiding hot pavement.
Try putting a cooling vest on your pup.
4. Watch for signs of heat stroke, which can cause lifelong health problems, organ failure, and death:
Bright red gums and tongue
Weakness, lack of coordination
If you notice any of signs of heat stroke, do the following:
Bring the pet indoors to cool dry environment.
Place them in front of a fan or air conditioning.
Put them in a cool shower or hose them down.
Take your pet to the vet.
5. Never leave your pet inside the car on a warm day:
At 72F, a car’s interior temperature can reach 116F in one hour.
At 85F, a car’s interior temperature can reach 102F in 10 minutes.
At 85F, a car’s interior temperature can reach 120F in 20 minutes.
6. Watch your pet at social gatherings:
Skip the human snacks. Feeding table scraps from your plate can upset your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chives, alcohol can be toxic.
Nuts, bones, plastic, tin foil, corn cobs, and fruit pits can cause gastrointestinal obstructions.
7. Look for signs that your pet is scared of fireworks and thunderstorms:
Hiding in small enclosed spaces
Intense barking, shrieking, whining, or howling
Destructive behavior (chewing or scratching door frames and windows, eating through walls)
Jumping through screens or windows
Here's how to handle these fears and phobias:
DO distract them. Give them something positive to do. Play a favorite game. Ignore the storm and act unconcerned. Be gentle, calm, and patient with your dog.
DO NOT soothe. Soothing rewards the behavior
DO NOT punish. Punishing a dog for its reaction makes a scary event even more frightening.
Consult your veterinarian. They may refer you to a veterinary behaviorist.
Steel City Emergency Vets represents the latest in emergency medical care for your pet. With a combination of cutting-edge technologies and experienced hands, your pet will have every advantage.
Learn more, and book an appointment, at https://www.steelcityemergencyvets.com/