Black dog outside

Staying Cool and Healthy All Summer!

Black dog outsideThe dog days of summer are here! While any hot day can easily bring this phrase to mind, more importantly is making sure your dog and cat stay cool and healthy all summer long!

Following are some tips to help keep any pet comfortable and safe this summer.

  • First, never leave your pet in the car! Even at “lower” temperatures the interior temperature quickly becomes unsafe for any animal! Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states, including North Carolina.
  • Pets can also get dehydrated easily, so make sure to give them lots of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
  • When you are outside, make sure that there are shady places for your pet to get out of the sun, but even then be mindful that shade doesn’t lower the temperature that much. Get outside in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, and get your pets inside when it’s extremely hot out.
  • Be alert with your pets around water! Not all dogs can swim well! If your dog goes into the pool, rinse them off to remove chemicals like chlorine or salt, and try to keep any of your pets from drinking pool water!
  • Don’t forget that the ground can also be hot, especially if you’re walking on asphalt. The radiating heat can increase your dog’s body temp and their paw pads may burn. Look for grassy areas or ways to minimize walks on hot surfaces during the summer.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Finally, there are many products and ways to help keep your pet cool like giving your pet frozen, filled Kongs, ice cubes, cat popsicles made from food that has been frozen, or pet-friendly ice cream from your favorite pet store.

Stay safe, and have fun!