Staying Cool: Hot Weather Safety for Pets
Our winters may be mild in Texas, but it’s safe to say we’re all ready for some nicer weather. Most of us love to be outdoors with our pets in the spring and summer, but warm weather can pose risks to pets, even when it doesn’t feel that hot to you.
Awareness and preparation are what it takes to keep your pet safe this summer. Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center explores hot weather safety for pets.
You can stay ahead of the game with a bit of pre-hot weather preparation. Visit us for a spring or early summer check up and we can discuss the following important hot weather safety topics:
- Travel safety if you plan to travel with your pet
- Parasite prevention, including fleas, ticks, and heartworm prevention
- How to recognize the signs of heatstroke in pets
Hot Weather Safety for Pets
In addition to being prepared for hot weather, awareness of warmer weather dangers for pets is important.
Mosquitoes & Heartworm – dogs and cats (both indoor and outdoor) need regular, monthly, heartworm preventative pills to keep them safe from this parasite that is transmitted by mosquito bites.
Made in the shade – a good rule of thumb is that if it’s too hot for you outside, it’s too hot for your pets. But also keep in mind, they’ve always got a fur coat on! If they are outside, make sure they have access to shade and fresh water at all times.
Car safety – you have heard to never leave your pet in a parked car. And it bears repeating! Cars can heat to triple digits within minutes, even on mild days. This is a safety risk that isn’t worth taking.
Pool safety – make sure your pool is fenced and/or has an alarm (which goes off if a pet or child falls in). Never let your pet swim unsupervised.
Flat faced pet safety – breeds with flat faces require extra vigilance in hot weather, since they cannot pant to dissipate heat as effectively. These pets should be kept in air conditioning as much as possible.
Watch for hot surfaces – hot asphalt can burn your pet’s tender paws, so make sure you keep walks during these times to a minimum, or walk at the cooler times of the day – early morning and evening.
Avoid stagnant water – when hot weather is here, it’s tempting to let your pet drink wherever they can. But stagnant water poses health risks such as giardia, leptospirosis, and other problems. If you’re out with your pet, let them tote their own fresh water, or carry some for them at all times.
Garden and yard safety – a common activity when the weather heats up is yard beautification and lawn maintenance. Be aware that common fertilizers, insecticides, and rodenticides are toxic to pets. Always follow application directions, and store all yard chemicals and items safely away from pets. You should also check the ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants and be aware of what you are planting to avoid a danger to pets.
Heat Stroke in Pets
Preventing heat stroke is a huge component of hot weather safety for pets. Heat stroke occurs when a pet cannot dissipate heat well enough, and organ failure can result. It is a life threatening medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention to save your pet. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, get them to the nearest veterinary clinic right away.
Here are the signs:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Abnormally red gums or tongue color
Armed with these tips for hot weather safety for pets, we hope you can ensure a safe summer for your furry loved ones. If we can help in any way, or if you have questions about these ideas, please give us a call. We are here to help!