Tips to Keep Pets Cool and Safe

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When it comes to the heat of the summer, we all tend to have our tricks to keep ourselves cool, but sometimes we forget about our furry four-legged friends. So, we are talking to our friend Courtney Wiegard from Vinton Veterinary Hospital to get some tips for keeping our pets cool and safe this summer.

Summer Safety Tips for Pets:

*Avoid dehydration and heat stroke: always bring plenty of water if you are hiking, biking, walking, running, etc with your dog.  Find shaded areas, allow your dog time to drink and rest. Certain breeds of dogs (bulldogs, pugs) and geriatric pets are very heat intolerant.  Do not take these dogs out on very hot days.

*Apply sunscreen:  dogs and cats with white or even light skin need UV protection when outside for extended periods of time.  They can develop certain cancers due to sun exposure.  Unscented and non-staining sunscreens are the best.  If in doubt, consult your veterinarian before applying.

*DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN THE CAR:  Even on a 70 degree day, your parked car can reach 100 degrees and your pet could die within minutes.  Just cracking the windows is not enough.

*Be wary of the grasses!  Homeowners and businesses alike use different varieties of fertilizers and pesticides during the spring and summer months.  Be aware that your pet is at "ground-zero" and may be exposed to harmful chemicals.

*Be sure your pets are protected from fleas, ticks and mosquitos!  Have them on veterinary-approved medications!  Also be sure they are current on their vaccinations.

*Antifreeze:  Cars tend to leak antifreeze when they overheat in the summer months.  Cats and dogs like the sweet taste of antifreeze and this can be deadly to them.

*Be aware of hot asphalt on your dog's paws and avoid over-exertion on extremely hot days.

*Do not assume that all dogs can swim!  Try a kiddie pool in your backyard first and work your way up to jumping off that dock into the lake!