The past few weeks have been tough for people and their pets. In many areas of the country, the heat has been extremely uncomfortable, the storms have been loud, the power goes out, leaving many without air conditioning, and we’ve got fireworks coming this week. While we’re sweating it out and trying our best to enjoy the barbeques, it’s also very important we consider our pets.
Hot Dog! Tips
Always provide access to fresh water! Just like people, pets need water to stay hydrated. The hotter it gets, the more water they’ll drink. Check on the water supply several times to ensure they have enough water.
Limit exercise. When you take your pet for a walk, try not to over-exert them. Also, try to take the walks during a cooler part of the day and keep them in the shade as much as possible.
Don’t ever leave your pet in the car! Even if your windows are open, the temperature in the car can sky-rocket in a matter of minutes, making this a very life-threatening situation. Go the extra mile to take your pet home before running in to the store.
If you can, give your dog a haircut. Keep in mind—don’t cut the hair down to the skin—it should be cut to approximately 1 inch length so they still have protection from the sun. Removing some of the excess hair will make your pet cooler.
When you go on walks, try to avoid walking your dog on blacktop or asphalt. The ground can be hot and can burn your pet’s naked feet!
Lastly, know the signs of heat exhaustion. Here’s a helpful hint from the ASPCA: “Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.” If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately! It’s better to be safe than sorry!
This week there will be lots of 4th of July celebrations! While this can be a ton of fun for people, it might be anxiety-inducing for your pets. Petamberalert.com described that many pets get lost after running away to find a safe spot from the booming fireworks. So here are a few things that they suggest you do to keep your pet calm while fireworks light up our skies:
Keep your pets inside. If possible, have a responsible person stay home with the pet to keep the pet calm too.
Keep your pet in a safe spot. If you aren’t able to leave your pet at home, make sure they’re leashed so that they can’t run away.
Avoid the noise as much as possible! It’s often the big “booming” noises that scare pets. Keep your pets away from fireworks and close windows and doors to avoid the noise. Also, consider playing music or a TV to drown out the noise.
If your pet normally uses calming products for other anxiety-inducing environments, try them too. Thundershirt makes a great wrap that helps keep dogs calm (Find more information at www.thundershirt.com).
Lastly, keep calm. Pets often react to how we are acting. If you seem concerned, your pet could pick up on it and become nervous. Try to resume your normal activities so that your pet isn’t worried that something out-of-the-ordinary is happening.
Although this should be a great week, let’s make sure we’re protecting our pets from the temperatures and fireworks! Using these tips will help keep you and your pet more comfortable.
Do you have other tips to help keep your pets cool or keep them calm during the fireworks? Let us know!