While illness and injury can happen all year round, some problems are more prevalent seasonally. Below are a few items to keep in mind as we enter the summer season.
Too Hot to Trot
Walking barefoot across asphalt, concrete or sand on a hot sunny day can be extremely painful. Your pet’s paws are just as sensitive to this heat as your bare feet are. So it is best to avoid these surfaces if possible. This can be done by walking your pet during the cooler morning and evening hours or walking on grass or cooler surfaces.
Keep it cool!
Dogs and cats are particularly susceptible to heatstroke – a potentially life-threatening condition. To keep your pet cool and hydrated, provide plenty of water and shade or keep them in a cool, air-conditioned room. Monitor outdoor exercise time periods and shorten them into smaller periods if necessary.
Hydration & Floatation
Going on a hike or playing outside? Bring plenty of fresh, clean water for your pet to drink. Microscopic parasites in lakes, streams and puddles can make your pet sick. While most dogs can swim, not all dogs like water. If your pet likes to swim, keep a watchful eye and make sure they have an easy way to get out of the water – you can also get a life jacket for your furry friend.
From Ear to Ear
Does your dog love to play in the water during the summer? It’s a great way to cool off, but it can also create an ear infection, especially for dogs with floppy ears. Drying your pup’s ears with a towel or using an ear cleaner after they play in water helps prevent ear infections.
Pets in Vehicles!
It’s no secret that pets and cars on a sunny day do not mix. If you see a pet in danger, say something:
- Alert businesses management around
- Call animal control or police
- Record vehicle information: make, model, colour and licence plate
- Stay with the pet until help arrives – you can save a life!
Need to run errands? Do your pets a favour and leave them at home. Never leave your pet unattended in the car, even with a window cracked open, and especially not in the sun. If you need to take your pet with you, have another person stay with them in the car and keep the air conditioning running. Temperatures rise faster than you think and can affect your pet severely.
Enjoy the summer weather and be sure to keep your pet safe.
Dr Lana Conway DVM, FAVD Dipl AVDC