Summer, summer, summertime! Time to sit back and unwind! But before we unwind, we need to make sure that our pets are taken care of. As pet parents, it's our responsibility to ensure the safety of our fur-babies this summer, and there are several issues we need to be aware of.
Dehydration - With how hot things are shaping up, it's no wonder that July is Pet Hydration Awareness Month. A good rule of thumb is that pets need to drink an ounce of water for every pound of bodyweight each day. To help keep your pets hydrated give them a rotation of fresh water in a clean bowl, add broth, ice, or fruit/veggies to encourage drinking, and consider a pet fountain for those who like drinking from running water sources. When pets are dehydrated, they might exhibit reduced energy, loss of appetite, excessive panting, dry nose or gums, and diarrhea.
Fleas, Ticks, & Mosquitoes - Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes love the warm weather just as much as we do, and these pests can be both annoying and dangerous. Ticks can spread Lyme Disease and mosquitoes can spread heartworm, making them some of the biggest health risks to your pets during the summer. Symptoms include swelling of the joints and nodes, appetite loss, and lethargy. Fleas and ticks typically hide in tall grass, so be sure to check your pet's fur after an outdoor adventure. For more tips on parasite prevention, head to our website.
Sunburn - Just like we humans, dogs can get sunburns too! Dogs with short coats and light hair are at a higher risk of sunburns. Sunburns can result in redness, hair loss, and in extreme cases cancer. Make sure pets are in shaded areas, avoid walks during peak sun hours, and use pet sunscreens for added protection. If your pet is sunburnt, spray the area with cool water, give them an oatmeal bath, and/or use aloe vera gel.
Overheating - Dogs do not sweat like humans, so they cannot regulate their body temperature as we do, and older dogs and overweight dogs are more at risk for heatstroke in the summers. When dogs overhead they might experience tongue swelling, excessive panting, or cloudy eyes. To prevent overheating, keep your pups indoors on extremely warm days, offer them plenty of water and shade, and never leave dogs in the car.
Letting Them Roam - During the summer, critters of all sizes come out to play, and it's only natural that our pets might want to chase them. When pets aren't in fenced areas, they might run off into the street and get hit by a car or become lost. Keep an eye on your pets or on a leash when in an open space or unfamiliar environment, and make sure their ID tags and microchips are updated.
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