People think we Southerners are accustomed to the scorching Summer heat and humidity. We are not and neither are our pets. We take precautions by limiting our activities and that of our pets during the hottest hours of the day and by staying hydrated. If we are hot, more than likely, our pets are too.
Even though our pets use their internal thermostat and instinct to keep cool, they also need a little help from their humans to get relief from excessive heat. Dehydration in pets is a serious condition that, if not immediately treated, can be fatal. Shade and a water source are essential for their wellbeing. Both Baylie and Smoki will find the coolest place in the yard to hunker down and take a nap; usually in the shade of a tree or shrub, or on the cool tile of the covered patio. I make certain both have ample cool, clean water; periodically adding ice cubes. A great alternative to ice cubes is a water bowl such as those made by Frosty Bowlz® for cats and dogs with a freezable inner core.
Below are additional Summer safety tips from our friends at Publix Paws as well as a really valuable infographic from our friends at TheUncommonDog.com for keeping our pets safe and comfortable in the heat.
- Pets can sunburn, so protect tender skin with sunscreen. Some areas to pay particular attention to include nose, lips, paws, and the tips of ears.
- Avoid excess exertion, especially during the hottest hours of the day. You can always substitute a longer walk in the evening if you need to cut back on your pet’s activities during the day.
- While your pet’s fur can offer some insulation, breeds with extra thick fur can benefit from summer grooming. Daily brushing, with particular attention paid to the undercoat, can help your pet keep his cool.
- Never, never, never leave your pet in the car. In the short time it takes you to run into the store for a few items, your pet could be in serious distress.
Provide your cat with an invitingly cool place to nap. Tuck frozen water bottles or a bag of frozen vegetables under the blanket in her bed.
Warmer weather means the bugs are out. Be sure to keep flea and tick protection up to date.
Tar from hot pavement can burn paws, or get imbedded between your pet’s toes. Check paws often. Better yet, keep your pet off the pavement on the hottest days. A romp through the grass will feel much nicer. Also, during the Summer months, we dog parents like to take our pets to the park, flea markets and to the kid’s ball field. There are times when we may need to consider if the wisest decision might be to leave the dog at home if you won’t be able to provide it frequent relief from the heat and humidity.