Summer is the perfect season to spend time outdoors with family and pets. There’s so much to do that just can’t be done in the winter. Warm days, weekend trips, and walks along the shore can be a great way to make the most out of this wonderful time of year. However, when it comes to taking pets on trips – even to the local grocery store – there are things that New Bedford pet owners must know. Keeping your pet safe from the heat and damaging rays of the sun should be a priority. It’s a great idea to start any new season with a veterinary check-up at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. We provide a wide range of services, including advice on summer care for pets, as well as alternative treatment options and comprehensive Dartmouth emergency vet services for urgent care.
- Keep Your Pet Hydrated – Dogs and cats alike can get seriously dehydrated in the summer months. Ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean water and that you change it throughout the day. Mosquitoes are also a concern during the summer, so completely cleaning out and replacing the water will prevent larvae from getting into your pet’s water dish.
- Keep Your Pet in the Shade – Even if your pet likes to go outdoors on the hottest day of the year, make sure that you provide a shady place for them to go and get out of the sun. New Bedford pet owners should avoid over-exercising their pets and keep them indoors during heat wave conditions – even if you have to fight to keep them inside.
- Know Your Pet’s Needs – Certain species and breeds have different issues with extreme weather conditions and temperatures. For example, pets with “flat” faces, such as Persian cats or Pug dogs, are much more susceptible to heat-related conditions. They are unable to pant as well as other pets, so they are more likely to have issues with heat stroke. Senior pets, as well as pets that are overweight or have serious health conditions, should be kept in an indoor, air-conditioned room as much as possible during the summer.
- Learn About Overheating Symptoms – The more you know, the easier it will be to spot out small issues before they become bigger, more complicated health problems. Overheating symptoms include difficulty breathing, excessive panting, increased respiratory and heart rates, mild weakness, stupor, collapse, and drooling. Other more serious symptoms can increase to include temperatures above 104 degrees, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and seizures. If you suspect your pet is overheated, contact our Dartmouth emergency vet clinic right away.
- Pools, Lakes, and Water In-General – Keep an eye on pets when you bring them to a pool. This includes small backyard wading pools, above-ground pools, and in-ground pools. Lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water can also be a danger. Introduce pets to water slowly to avoid making them afraid. If you go boating or out into the water, provide your pet with a flotation device. Always rinse your pet off after being in the water, including chlorine and salt water pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. The chlorine, chemicals, salt, and other contents can be damaging to skin and fur.
Common Summer Heat Issues
Some of the most significant types of damage that should be noted with summer care for pets includes hot asphalt, hot vehicles, and shaving your pet’s fur. Think about how hot the asphalt and cement can get in the hot summer sun. New Bedford pet owners should consider carrying their pets from the pet store, veterinary check-up visit, or other location to the car to prevent damage to sensitive paw pads, which can become severely burned. While you can trim your pet’s fur in the summer to make them more comfortable, never shave your pet, as their coats protect from sunburn and overheating. Try regular brushing to remove the undercoat of fur in cats and dogs or consider a trim for long-haired breeds.
Hot cars are by far the biggest concern for pets during the summer at our Dartmouth emergency vet clinic. A car can be too hot even if you leave the windows cracked and certain pets are more at risk of overheating, including overweight, senior, and young animals. Pets with dark-colored fur and short noses or flat faces are also at a heightened risk. It is essential to understand how the temperature increases quickly inside a vehicle. Outdoor temperatures of just 70 degrees can yield a car interior of 90 degrees or more, which means that when it hits 85 degrees in July, your vehicle could be over 100 degrees within 10 minutes and over 120 degrees in a half-hour. Leave your pet home in the air conditioning or only bring them when you are taking them inside with you during the summer.
For more summer care for pets and tips for year-round protection, contact Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth at 508-996-3731. We can answer any questions you have about veterinary check-up services or schedule an appointment with one of our experienced team members.