Summer pup with sunglasses

Summer pup with sunglasses

Hot weather does pose risks for our animal friends. With the proper precautions, you and your pet will enjoy a fun, comfortable, and healthy summer.

Avoid exercising your pet during the midday summer heat

Exercising your animal is important, but it is better to do so in the early morning or evening hours when the temperatures are lower. If you run with your dog, it is important to gradually build an exercise program that your dog can handle. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if overworked.

Beware of exercising your dog on hot pavement

Because dogs don’t have tennis shoes, they need pad protection. Your dog can get damaged or blistered feet if it doesn’t have time to build up its food pads. Consider running on the roadside or grass.

Provide your pet with plenty of clean, cool drinking water

This is very important in order to avoid dehydration. However, do not let your dog drink a lot of water before, during or after exercise because a condition called gastric torsion, or bloat, may result. A dog, especially a deep-chested breed like the German Shepherd, can die from bloat. Its stomach may swell and even rotate like a wringing towel, which cuts off blood supply through the stomach.

Protect your pet from sunburn

Just like humans, pets can get a sunburn, too. Help your pet avoid a sunburn by avoiding the sun during the brightest part of the day (10 am to 4 pm) or use a pet-specific sunscreens which are fragrance free, non-staining, and contain UVA and UVB blockers. Do not use human sunscreens on pets; most are toxic if ingested by dogs or cats. Check the label, as some pet-specific products are not appropriate for use on cats.

Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle

Even when outside temperatures are a moderate 70 degrees, a car or truck cab can become a miniature greenhouse. Even with the window cracked, the temperature inside a car can quickly climb to more than 110 degrees. Because dogs don’t perspire (they pant to take in cooler air), the distress of a hot car can make them panic, which only aggravates the problem.

Many cases of heatstroke happen when dogs are locked in cars with windows rolled up or cracked slightly. Heatstroke is life-threatening for animals. If not caught in its earliest stages, heatstroke can mean quick death for your pet.

If you notice your animal behaving in a peculiar way and suspect it may be suffering from heatstroke or bloat, contact your veterinarian immediately. See more at: