Make your summer better by sharing it with your pet! Here are a few safety tips that can keep your pet friends healthy and happy during the heat.
Do not leave pets outside
unsupervised on long, hot days,
even in the shade.
Provide a Constant Supply of Fresh Water
Indoors or out, your pet needs access to lots of fresh water during the summer. Check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it's full, and bring lots of fresh water with you during walks or car rides.
Protect Your Pet from Sunburn
For pets with light colored skin or fur, sunburn risks rise. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling, and skin cancer. Keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If out, rub a bit of sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around lips, and the tip of the nose.
Don't Let Pets Drink from Puddles
Resist the urge of letting your pets drink from puddles in the street. Puddles may contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it's extremely toxic.
Humidity interferes with animals' ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Controlling body heat is difficult in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.
Limit Outdoor Exposure
Animals shouldn't be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. If you must leave your pet in the backyard, keep a close eye on them and bring them in when you can.
Do Not Leave Your Pet in the Car
NEVER leave your pet in a locked car. Temperatures rise quickly even with the windows cracked. This can be lethal to your pet!
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Visit your veterinarian immediately. To help lower the animal's body temperature, apply towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Warm, dry skin
- High fever
- Rapid heartbeat
Dr. Alia Habhab ("Dr. Alia") has been working at Animal House of Chicago since July 2013. A graduate of Ross University Veterinary School, she finished her clinical year at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2013. Dr. Alia has a special interest in exotic animal medicine.