With the weather warming up, our pets and ourselves will spend more time outside. We need to be diligent in protecting our pets from the heat and sun. Like us, they are prone to heatstroke, sunburn, dehydration, and skin cancers but with a few tips our pets can enjoy summer too!
1: Some dogs and cats can get sunburned on their ears, nose, and back if they are light colored or hairless. Limit their exposure to sunshine and keep them inside on very hot, sunny days. Your vet may also recommend a type of pet approved sunscreen for your pet that you can use when taking your dog outside for a walk, short romp around the park, or whenever your pet goes outside.
2: Never leave your pet in the car while you run inside a store. Even with the windows open, a car can heat up to a temperature that can be fatal to your pet. Cracking the windows is not enough. Cars heat up so quickly and lose all that nice cool A/C in a matter of minutes.
3: Make sure your pet always has fresh water to drink and also a nice cool spot to rest. Limit your pet’s activity on very hot days so they don’t overheat or get heat stroke. Play a little less, run less, and cool off! Chances are your dog or cat may want to lay around a bit more on a summer day as it is, let them.
4: Watch out for hot pavement and hot sand. On sunny days, the ground heats up and can burn the pads of your pet’s feet. If possible, avoid walking your dog on these surfaces for long periods of time. Keep your cat inside on hot days so he doesn’t get hot feet or sunburned. If you live somewhere where grassy areas aren’t nearby, you can talk to your vet about a few products on the market that can protect your dog’s feet. There are boots that are usually used for winter walks to protect from rock salt and ice and there are coatings that can be applied to the paws that create a breathable layer over your pet’s paws to protect them from the hot pavements.
5: Long haired breeds may need a summer cut or a shave. Never shave a pet down to the skin as they need some fur to protect them from the sun, but a shave that leaves about an inch or more can help them stay cool, keep from getting tangles, and make grooming easier.
6: Always carry water when going out so your pet can take a drink while out and about. You don’t want your dog to overheat or become dehydrated. Trips to the dog park should be done in the evenings or early mornings when it’s still a few degrees cooler than it was mid day.