As temperatures soar into the 90s, it’s important to keep in mind important summertime pet care tips. Our friends at North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws At Play Resort and Daycare shared their summer safety guidelines.
Avoid walking your dog in the midday heat
Save your summer strolls for early morning or evening when the heat index isn’t as powerful. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and temps are typically at their hottest around 3 p.m. Opting for a walk at breakfast or later after dinner is best for both dogs and their UV-conscious owners! In hot, muggy temperatures, it’s also a good idea too to keep walks to a minimum.
Provide your dog with a shady space outside and make sure to keep water bowls replenished
If your dog is outside for a prolonged time, ensure he/she is leashed in a shady spot. Check the water bowl often and refill it as needed.
Watch for signs of over-heating
An animal that is over-heated will pant, drool, show signs of weakness and may have difficulty breathing, said Deborah Haley, marketing manager for North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws At Play Resort and Daycare. If you notice any of these symptoms in your animal, bring him/her indoors and into the air conditioning immediately.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle
On a sunny 70-degree day, the temperature inside a car will reach 104 degrees within 30 minutes, and 113 degrees after an hour, according to Don’t do it no matter how quick your shopping trip.
Be mindful of your pet’s age and health condition
Like older adults, a senior dog can be limited in their day-to-day activities, especially in the summer. Likewise, an overweight animal or a pet with a lung or heart condition should be monitored more carefully during the hot summer months.
Supervise your animal when it is outdoors
Never leave your pet unsupervised by a swimming pool or let the animal linger too long on hot pavement. A good test is to place your bare foot on an outside surface for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your furry friend’s paw pads.
Be mindful of grooming habits and flea/tick prevention
Like their owners, canines may enjoy the occasional swim in the summer months. Make sure Fido’s ears are clean and keep up with routine ear cleaning, notes Katie Ashton of North Royalton Animal Hospital and Paws At Play Resort and Daycare. Make sure long-haired animals are being bathed and groomed regularly to prevent matting. Consider “going short” for the summer and keep nails regularly trimmed. Always use veterinarian-approved flea/tick preventatives and contact your vet immediately if a tick has hitched a ride on your animal or he/she shows signs of scratching.
Going on a road trip with your pet? Remember to…
-Keep your pet safe and secure in a backseat harness or carrier. Never allow your dog to put his/her head outside the vehicle’s window.
-Microchip your pet for identification. New sites and smells can be extremely exciting for a dog looking to get out and explore.
-Always travel with pet food, water and feeding bowls
-Research animal clinics close to your vacation destination in case of emergency medical needs
If you decide to board your pet, remember to…
-Fill out all kennel forms and make staff aware of any quirks or habits. During his/her stay, provide your animal with familiar items. Do not change your pet’s diet or daily routine in the days leading up to his/her boarding. Make sure your pet is vaccinated and tour the facility with your animal a few days beforehand. Be calm and positive when dropping off your pet.
Contributing Writer