The cold temperatures and biting winds of winter are behind us, but new hazards lie ahead for our four-legged companions! Below, your Waterloo vet offers tips for keeping your pet from these summertime dangers:
If a pet spends too much time in the hot, humid weather and the scorching sun, heatstroke becomes a very real danger. The first signs in most pets are rapid breathing and heartbeat, panting, and drooling. As the condition progresses, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse may present. If you see any of these symptoms, rush your pet to a cooler area immediately and offer water. Call your vet right away to see how you should proceed.
We aren’t the only ones who have to worry about sunburn this time of year. Cats and dogs can also get burned, especially on exposed areas like the ear tips and end of the nose. Ask your vet about a dog- or cat-specific sunscreen, available at many pet supply stores, that you can use to block the sun’s harmful rays from your pet.
Even on relatively milder summer days, the temperatures inside a parked car can heat up dramatically if it’s left sitting in the sun. A pet left inside the car can quickly succumb to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. A few cracked windows won’t help, either. Either take your pet indoors at your destination, or leave them at home.
With the sun beating down on it all day, asphalt can quickly turn into a scorching surface. A pet that steps on it for too long can easily burn their paw pads, leaving painful blisters. Plus, since your pet’s body is closer to the ground, the asphalt will heat them up in a matter of minutes. Take care to avoid asphalt when you’re walking your pet.
Thinking of taking a summertime dip with your dog? Remember that not all dogs can swim! Always stay with your dog in backyard pools or public lakes, supporting him the whole time. Remember to rinse his coat off after you’re out of the water in order to remove all salt or chlorine.
With a little knowledge and preparation, you’ll be ready to keep your pet safe from this season’s hazards. Ask your Waterloo vet for more advice as the temperatures rise.