Tips for Helping Your Pet Beat the Summer Heat

FINALLY! Summer has arrived and as usual in Oklahoma, it will be a hot one. During these summer months it’s important that pet owners take precautions for keeping their pet safe, healthy and happy.  Pet Medical Center of Edmond has offered some great summer tips to help make that happen.

1. NEVER leave your pet in the car: 

Pug Dog Outdoors Wearing a Straw Hat and Handkerchief, Sitting on a Lawnmower

We all know that there are pets that absolutely cannot go a day without their car ride and it is very tempting to take our pets with us to run quick errands. But during warm weather months, the inside of a parked car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even when parked in the shade. This can be extremely dangerous for your pet. You may not know this—but dogs and cats cannot perspire like humans and can only release heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Pet’s that are left in hot cars, even briefly can suffer from heat exhaustion, brain damage, heat stroke and even death. The best and safest option for your pets is to leave them at home in a cool place, which leads us to point number 2.

2. Water & Shade are a pet’s best friend:

These items are key ingredients for your pets to beat the heat this summer. Be sure when your pets are outside that they have a nice, shady place to rest even if they are outside for a short time. If your yard does not have a shady place then you could place a covered dog house in the back yard for them to use. Water is the second key ingredient for a healthy, happy pet. Keep plenty of cool, fresh water available for your pet’s consumption throughout the day.

3. Fertilize the yard not the dog

Most often the summer months mean lots of fertilizer and insecticides. Beware that these products can be very harmful if they are ingested by your pet. If you believe that they have ingested either of these products you should contact your veterinarian immediately and if possible have the product packaging available for your veterinarian to look at.

4. Water wisdom:

Just like humans, pets occasionally like to take a dip in the family pool but dogs and pools or hot tubs can equal disaster. When these items are not in use they should stay covered or your pet should be supervised when access is available. “I have lost a number of patients due to drowning deaths over the years” states Richard Hufnagel, DVM. “For added safety your dog should be taught how to get out of the pool if they accidentally fall in while unsupervised. This can be done by getting into the pool with them and guiding them to the steps where they can get out. A few reputations from different locations is all it takes for them to learn where to go to get to safety” says Brian Pribil, DVM.

5. Watch for the biting bugs:

It is always important to use flea, tick and heartworm preventatives year round but the summer months really bring in the bugs. Be sure to use monthly preventatives to avoid flea/tick infestations and heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is spread to dogs and cats by mosquitos and if our pets are not protected this disease can be fatal.

6. Exercise:

It is important to keep your pets fit all year round, but like with everything else the risk of fitness during the summer months can be higher if precautions are not taken. Limit exercise to early morning and late evenings when temperatures are cooler. Keep in mind that asphalt can get extremely hot and can burn your pets paw pads.

As mentioned before, pets can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke which could be deadly. Some signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gate, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If these symptoms occur you should immediately lower their body temperature by placing them in the shade and apply cool (NOT COLD) water over the body to gradually lower the core body temperature. Let your pet drink small amounts of water. But most importantly, contact your veterinarian immediately.

We hope these summer tips will help you keep your pet cool and healthy this summer.  We would like to invite you to visit our new facility at 1001 W. 15th St. or contact us with any questions (405)348-6580. Remember, your pet can’t talk to you so use these tips to beat the heat for them.