Spending time outdoors with our pets is definitely one of the greatest pleasures of the summer. However, the arrival of the warmer temperatures, brighter sunshine and a host of insects brings a number of new challenges to successful and responsible pet ownership during this popular season.
As a caring and conscientious pet owner, one of your biggest priorities will be doing everything in your power to keep your pet safe and healthy this summer. Fortunately, there are many different steps you can take to make this entirely achievable, including the following:
Don’t leave your pet unattended in a hot car
It is a fairly hot topic and many people are committed to raising awareness as to just how dangerous it is to leave an animal in a vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many pets still pass away prematurely as a result of their owner locking them into a vehicle that has been left unattended. This is due to the total underestimate that is made when they try and decide how hot the car is likely to be. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can top 90 degrees in under 10 minutes, and even reach 160 degrees if the car is parked in direct sunlight – even if the window is open. The fact is that it can take just minutes for a pet to develop heatstroke and suffocate. Pets left in cars die, it isn’t a chance worth taking.
Get your pet’s parasite prevention up to date
Unfortunately, soaring temperatures usually mean an increase in the number of insects around, and in particular, ticks and mosquitos. Both of these parasites can spread diseases as they take infected blood into their body and pass it from host to host. There are lots of horrible pet illnesses that are spread by insects including:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky mountain spotted fever
- West Nile Virus
Fortunately, there are lots of different preventatives available that can ensure that your pet remains properly protected against all of those listed above and more.
Ensure your pet has access to water
Water is essential for all living things and is exceptionally beneficial in helping pets cool down when the summer temperatures soar. Not only does your pet need to be drinking plenty of water to keep the risk of dehydration at bay, but it will also help cool her down and regulate her body temperature. Place water dishes around your home and yard and keep them cool by using ice cubes or place the dish onto a cooling pad to help the water stay cold for longer. If your furry friend doesn’t mind a bath or shower, then this is a helpful way to cool her down. Just be sure to supervise her carefully if she is taking a dip in deeper water such as a bath or lake.
Don’t share certain summer foods
During the summer months, we might enjoy some foods that we don’t really eat other times of the year. While there are plenty of foods that are safe to share with your pet, there are others that are extremely toxic to animals including onions, garlic, nuts, guacamole, candy, and alcoholic drinks. It is important that you prevent your furbaby from having access to these so that she doesn’t become sick. Similarly, you should watch that you aren’t offering undercooked meat or meat contains small bones which could hurt your pet’s esophagus and put her at risk of choking. Don’t leave tables and plates of food unattended and dispose of them properly so that your pet can’t raid the garbage and chow down on any leftovers!
Invest in sunscreen
Yes, pet sunscreen is a real thing and something that is very important for keeping your pet safe this summer. All animals are at risk of sunburn if they are spending a great deal of time outdoors, and while it is essential to offer some shade, especially in the middle part of the day, it is also advisable to use SPF to be certain that she doesn’t get burnt. Don’t use human varieties though. These have ingredients that are toxic to animals. Instead, ask our veterinary team about specially-designed pet sunscreens.
If you have any questions about any of the advice shared above, or if you would like to speak to one of our experienced and knowledgeable veterinarians don’t hesitate to contact our animal hospital in Gainesville, FL today. Our team is ready and waiting to help you keep your pet both healthy and safe this summer season. Contact us today at 352-289-8540.