Here comes summer again, and with it we need some reminders on how to keep our pets safe in the heat. There are plenty of things you can do to help your pet beat the heat of summer, and I want to talk about my personal top three. They’re timeless, but can be easy to over look.
Water. When your pet is braving the summer heat outdoors, they need access to plenty of fresh water. This goes for hiking trips, trips to the lake, and at home in the backyard. Without sufficient water, your pet can quickly suffer from dehydration.
Wherever you go during the summer with your animal friend, take water, be it in a thermos or water bottle. Also, bring a bowl along from which they can easily drink. This doesn’t have to be something fancy, I usually take a plastic cereal bowl, just something durable for traveling. Many parks offer water fountains, so just fill your pet’s bowl up! Chances are, when you need to stop for a drink, so does your pet. So hydrate together in the shade.
Limit the time outside. Limiting the time your pet is kept outdoors in the heat helps keep them safe. If possible, bring them indoors during the peak temperatures to help prevent dehydration. Even when you have provided water and some shade, prolonged exposure to heat is still dangerous. So bring them inside when the day’s at its hottest during the Summer, usually between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., I usually keep my dog indoors between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and she’s very happy about that.
But, if you are not able to bring them indoors, be sure to provide plenty of fresh water to sustain them throughout the day, lots of shaded areas from direct sunlight, and set up a mister. Patio misting kits, check www.HomeDepot.com, are affordable and a great way to keep your pet’s body temperature from over heating.
Sunscreen. That’s right. Sunscreen isn’t just for us humans, they actually make it for pets too. Michael Fleck, DVM, of the Animal Medical Center of Bradenton, Fla. believes sunscreen is important year-round. Sunscreen can be applied to a dog’s vulnerable areas, such as the tips of ears, chest, and muzzle. Check with your veterinarian on which sunscreen is best for your pet, they will benefit from that added measure of protection against the sun’s powerful rays.