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Keep your pets safe during the hot weather months

 

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It’s sad that I need to post something like this. Every summer I usually post something in regards to keeping your pet safe during the hot months. By now you would think that most people would know better than to leave their pet in a parked car while they go shopping or stop to have lunch. Sadly I continue to see dogs and cats left in parked cars. Even with the windows cracked open you are risking your pet’s health. Even after a few minutes the temperature inside your car can reach up to 120 degrees (even with the windows cracked!). Exposure to such temperatures can cause your pet brain damage, suffocation and heatstroke. Pets can DIE being left in parked cars on a hot day. Is the health and life of your pet worth you running into the coffee shop to grab a coffee or getting your nails done?

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR!

Plain and simple. That is easy enough to understand. JUST DON’T DO IT!

If you have your pet in the car and you need to stop some place take them home first. Or leave them at a friend’s house. Just don’t leave them in the car.

A couple of years ago I ran a post that provided readers with some more pet safety tips for the dog days of summer (no pun intended :-)). I think these tips are worth repeating.

Pets Need Sunscreen

Just like humans, cats and dogs can get sunburned, especially if he/she has  light-colored hair. Animal sunburns can cause the same problems as that of  humans: peeling, redness and even cancer. As skin cancer in pets is a serious  concern, purchasing pet-friendly sun screen can go a long way in protecting the  health of your pet when the heat kicks in. Places that are easy to forget, but  prone to burning are: inside the nostrils, tip of nose, around your dog’s lips  and the inside of ears for dogs with stand up ears.

Summer Style

Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating. Shave  down to a one-inch length, but never to the skin, so your pet still has some  protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent  problems caused by excessive heat.

Pets Need Extra Water….But don’t let them drink just  anything

Give your dog extra water during the summer, but be sure not to leave the  water out for too long. Change the water often to prevent your pet from getting  sick from bacteria that can grow in hot water. Also, when dogs are thirsty, they  are bound to drink something they shouldn’t. Puddles of what may look like water  on the ground can be mistaken for dangerous chemicals, so keep an eye out when  your dog is looking for something to sip on.

Make a Safe Splash

Buy a kiddie or dog swimming pool and fill it with water for your pet. But,  do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool – not all pets are good swimmers.  Introduce your pet to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices  when on boats. To remove chlorine or salt from the fur, rinse your pet after  swimming. Be sure to also keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains  chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Pets at Outdoor Summer Events

Warm temperatures and outdoor fun go hand-in-hand, but when the temperatures  hit record highs, refrain from taking your pet to crowded summer events like  concerts or fairs. The loud noises and crowds, combined with the heat, can be  stressful and dangerous for pets.

Exercising in the Heat:

Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but show extra care to older and  overweight pets that are more at risk from high temperatures. Limiting exercise  to early morning or evening hours can help. Extra caution should also be taken  with short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats.

Watch for Heatstroke Dogs can develop heatstroke fairly  quickly. Signs of this include excessive panting, staring, anxious facial  expressions, warm skin, refusal to obey commands by owner, vomiting, collapse  and rapid heartbeat. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from this, lower  the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the  hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after just a few minutes  of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling  to well below what is normal. If this happens, take the dog to the vet  immediately – don’t try to solve this yourself.

If you have any other special tips for keeping your pet healthy during the  hot weather months please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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Kimberly

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.

Comments

  1. Great tips thank you for sharing some of them are just so obvious like not leaving your dog in a car. I would never do that.

  2. Great tips and what an adorable picture! I really like the reminder about sunscreen, as it’s something we often forget.

  3. Tammy S says:

    Great tips! You are correct that you shouldn’t have to sat these things and that people should know better by now. I really didn’t know that cats and dogs could get sunburns also. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Karen Glatt says:

    Great tips on taking care of my dog during the summer months. I am always shocked to see people leaving dogs in cars when it is hot outside. I do not care if they have a window cracked open, the dog will still get to hot and pant! Keep the dogs out of the car on a hot day. I always make sure that my dog has plenty of fresh water!

  5. These are great tips. I live in a hot climate and always make sure my dog is protected from the heat

  6. Sandy Cain says:

    This is SO true! I used to Live in Nevada, and every year, some people would go shopping and leave the dog in the car – so many dogs died, because the temperature OUTSIDE the car was 109 or 110 degrees. These are often the same people that leave the KIDS in the car, too. It is a real shame that this even has to be mentioned – but it does. Thank you!

  7. Olivia Rubin says:

    One of the things I have to watch out for with my service dog is parking lots. The asphalt gets so hot. I often take my flip flops off and test the asphalt. If it becomes hot at some point while walking in a parking lot we run for it till I can find grass or reach the store. She is often the reason I look for the closest parking spot. I am also conscious of her water intake. She is a lot more active that the average at home dog. If its super steamy we stop for vanilla soft serve. I don’t like giving her this form of human food, but she loves it and her belly tolerates it and it refreshes her and brings her temp down.

  8. This is a great informational post! I don’t currently have a pet, but these reminders are important for everyone to remember in my opinion. Though it’s an obvious conclusion to make, pets becoming vulnerable to heat exposure in a car is such an important fact to remember and take heed of to prevent these incidents from happening. Beyond not leaving pets in the car, the rest of the reminders were new information for me to consider to further protect a pet from the heat. I didn’t know about the sunscreen and the steps to take to during suspected heatstroke! Thank you for listing all of these and reminding us again how important it is to be mindful of a pet’s well being.

  9. Kate F. says:

    Those are great tips! It always frustrates me when people leave their pets in cars during the spring and summer months.

  10. Robin Wilson says:

    It is a shame that this happens over and over again! I try to keep in mind that if I am hot, then Zuzu is hot too! I even have a little feral cat that is tame enough for me to pet. He somehow burned his ear when he was young and so every day I have to sneak while he is in the garage eating and slather some sunscreen on it. I hope it helps some. I keep a fountain going all year for the animals! You rock!

  11. Anita L says:

    I agree with you that this is something that everyone should know. The same applies to extreme cold weather as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people neglect their animals in the heat as well as cold.

  12. md kennedy says:

    Another important thing, especially if you live in a neighborhood with stray or feral cats: please please leave out water for them in a place where they will find it. Such a small thing and it makes a big difference to these poor, suffering creatures.

  13. I worked in law enforcement for many years, and you would not believe how many people leave their pets in the car all the time!! It’s HORRIBLE!!

  14. Julie G says:

    As a dog walker and pet owner, I cannot thank you enough for bringing this to people’s attention. Remember when using sunscreen to check with your vet first, some dogs are especially susceptible to skin irritations. Also keep the sunscreen away from their eyes and mouth- just like kids. :)

  15. I don’t know why people think their dogs want to go with them to the grocery store anyhow. I’d like to get some little cards made up to put on people’s windshields about heatstroke in dogs. From what I have reads dogs cannot sweat like humans so it’s even harder for them to handle heat.

  16. Richard Hicks says:

    Such great advice. If I see a pet in a car I will call the police to report it.

  17. michelle f warner says:

    great tips, i just found out the other day when i took my dogs to the vet that they do not have the layer intheir skin like most other dogs to control the temperatures so they are subject to freezing or over heating faster than other dogs, so these tips are really helpful, thankyou so much

  18. Cathy Shaw says:

    I do feel sorry for our furbabies in hot weather! These tips are vital. I wonder why cats love to doze in sun puddles!

  19. Linda Meyers-Gabbard says:

    It just irks me to no end when I see a pet left in a car in hot weather. It makes me want to break a Window to get them out.

    People need to wake up. Would you sit in a hot car with or without a window cracked for 10-20 minutes? I wouldn’t. Rule of thumb if you wouldn’t do it don’t let your pets do it.

  20. Samii Meyer says:

    I think these are great tips – thank you so much for sharing something like this! I believe that is a big problem – I see people leave their dogs in the car all the time, and it is just not safe