How to keep you and your pet healthy and fit in sweltering summer heat.
Don’t be caught unprepared as Mother Nature Cranks up the Heat! The summer is prime time to turn an eye towards improving both your own and your pets’ health. Balmy evening walks and nutritious meals will go a long way toward making pets and their parents feel like a million bones! Both avid dog walkers and lazy leash luggers alike will find a new spring in their step with these tips for a truly fur-tastic summer. With a whole host of outdoor activities, longer days, and warmer nights, there is no better time to tighten up your walk regimen, learn a new trick, or explore new places! While you’re getting caught up in all of your summer fun, don’t forget that summer is also the perfect time to get in shape and stay healthy, but it’s always
important to be mindful of the heat and sun. Work with nature, not against her!
Fuel your summer activities with fresh and satisfying food that will have your barking beauty begging for more. Take a peek below and find the 9 most important things to remember when preparing to beat the heat.
1. Do not leave your pet alone in your car — vehicles heat up quickly in the sun, and animals left inside a vehicle can succumb to heat stroke much more quickly than their human counterparts. Heatstroke is life threatening for both dogs and cats.* Watch for signs such as: heavy, loud breathing, a staggering gait, and a bright red tongue or gum tissue. If heat stroke is suspected, get the animal to a cool place, put cold compresses on his belly, or wet him down. If this doesn’t seem to help, then it could be a medical emergency — take him to your veterinarian as quickly as possible. A helpful hint: to prevent your pet from over heating, don’t let your dog exercise in hot weather. If you want to run with your dog, do it in the cool hours of the early morning or late evening.
2. Dogs and cats need a cool, shady place to sleep during hot weather, as well as plenty of clean, fresh water, accessible at all times in a tip-proof bowl. Remember that metal bowls left in the sun can get hot, and potentially burn your pet, so always put water in a plastic or preferably ceramic bowl in the shade. Or, for the pet parent on-the-go Petco offers wallet friendly, collapsible water bowls that fit in your pocket. These convenient no-fuss water bowls are effortless, easy to transport, and perfect for adventurous animals in the summer months.
3. No one wants a heavy stomach in the summer heat. Consult with your Vet to find out which food is best for your pet. Age, breed, and size can all affect what your dog needs in his food. For example, an energetic Yorkie needs different nutrients then a senior Mutt! So, know your dog, and feed him or her accordingly.
4. Be sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. The Parvo virus, an illness that flourishes in hot weather, can be fatal to dogs that have not received their vaccinations. Also, be sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are current. During the summer months, pets often spend more time outdoors, and the chances of encounters with wildlife (possible rabies carriers) are far greater. Summer is also heartworm medication time. If your dog hasn’t been tested for heartworm this year, see your veterinarian. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, but it can be prevented by administering a monthly preventive between June and November.
5. Keep your pet well-groomed. The shorter the hair the better during the summer for many reasons. Daily brushing or combing lets you check for fleas and ticks. Fleas can cause allergic reactions and “hot spots” in dogs. Hot spots are large, wet lesions that appear suddenly in areas where the dog has scratched. See your veterinarian for flea and tick prevention methods or if a “hot spot” appears. Petco sells Frontline Flea and Tick protection. It works fast, killing 100% of adult fleas on your dog and major ticks that can transmit Lyme disease.
6. Leashes save dogs’ lives! Keep your dog on a leash when you are taking a walk to prevent a tragic run into traffic, or chasing cats, squirrels and other wildlife.
7. Keep dogs away from picnic garbage. Ingesting corn on the cob, chicken, and other bones can be life-threatening. Also, citrus plants such as lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits are very acidic. They can create irritation for your pet and cause them to vomit and/or have diarrhea. As pet parents you need to know when to say NO!
8. Use a heavy screen on windows or keep them closed if you have cats. During the summer, the number of cats suffering from “high rise” syndrome, or falling from windows, increases dramatically. Contrary to myth, cats actually do not land on their feet when falling from heights. And back on the ground level, it’s important to make sure that your perky pup or daredevil dog cannot make a break for freedom through your screen door!
9. Walk dogs early in the morning or later in the evening hours instead of in the middle of the day when it’s hottest. You’ll be cooler too! If you’re sweating, just think about how your pet in a fur coat feels. Overweight and older pets are more likely to overheat during hot weather, so it’s important to keep them fit and trim. Remember, walking your dog is the perfect way to bond with your pet and get fit in the process. No matter how you walk, just spending time with your furry friend is one of the best ways you can make his summer extra special!
So, slather on the sunscreen, strap on your sneakers, get out and enjoy the summer with your pet! Eat right, have fun, soak up the sun, and enjoy the puppy love for being such a purrfect pet parent!