Here I am again on my soapbox about all the hot weather hazards your pets can encounter.
The heat and humidity have arrived, so crank up the air conditioners and fans, ready the swimming pool and the cooling drinks and maybe we’re ready to face summer full on.
Not only do humans suffer with the warm weather, but maybe even more your dogs, cats, horses and other pets in your household.
First and foremost, water, water, water everywhere. I’m talking about bowls of fresh water placed out of the sun or warm spots. Water should be afforded all animals, even our wildlife. Be sure the water is fresh daily, and you can even add a few ice cubes during the day.
Next is hot cars. It’s fun having our pets ride along with us to the store. You tell your furry friend, “I’ll be back in a minute.” That “minute” may run on and on and on, and you may return to an overheated car and an unconscious or dead pet. I cannot stress enough, leave your pets at home during hot weather.
Even cracking the car windows do not work. A car, even in the shade can reach 120 to 160 degrees in a very short time. Going through life blaming yourself for your pet’s death, because you did not leave it home in the hot weather, is a very hard pill to swallow. I will not go through all the gruesome symptoms of heat stroke in your animal, but it’s not pretty. If your pet appears to be suffering from heat stroke, get to your veterinarian as fast as you can.
The beach is another place a dog can run into problems. Dogs with thin hair can sunburn and white haired dogs can also sunburn. So always apply sunscreen to your dog’s face, nose, and the tips of their ears. Even dark haired dogs can burn on their noses and ear tips.
Always keep your dog on a leash at the beach. And if the signs says NO PETS—that is what is meant. There is nothing worse than stepping in “poop” with bare feet. “Nuf said.
Remember to always bathe your dog when you get home to get the salt, sand and sand fleas out of their coats. Dogs love playing in the surf with kids, but remember, just as humans can, dogs can also be pulled under the water by rip currents and they may panic and be washed away. Like with your kids, keep an eye on your pets.
Picnics and barbecues can be lots of fun for all, including your dogs and cats, where they may find ready treats at such a gathering. They will often eat foods that can make them ill. If your pets join the party, monitor their begging.
If your pet is alone at home during the day, be sure they stay cool and comfortable.
Common sense should prevail when dealing with your pets during the hot days.
(Pat Chiri can be reached at email@example.com.)