Keep Your Furry Friends Safe And Comfortable When The Temps Soar
If you think you feel uncomfortable on those sizzling summer days just imagine how it would feel to wear a fur coat when the temperatures are in the 90s. Our fluffy four-footed friends need extra help to stay safe and comfortable when the weather is hot. Dogs and cats are prone to the same heat-related problems as humans including heat exhaustion, dehydration and even sunburn. Pets with dark coats, short muzzles and elderly pets are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. Dogs aren’t as efficient at cooling down as we are because they release most of their body heat through panting and the pads of their feet.
To keep your pet safe and comfortable when the temperatures soar consider adjusting their exercise routines by taking them out for playtime only in the early morning and evening hours. Try soaking a bandana in water and putting it in the freezer and then put it on your dog before going for a walk outside. Be very cautious when walking your dog on pavement because it becomes very hot and can easily burn your pet’s paws. Always take along a thermos of fresh cold water and let your pet take frequent breaks in shady areas.
If you decide to take your four-footed friend along on your family’s summer vacation you will need to do some advance planning. In addition to food and water, make sure you pack leashes, comfortable bedding and a first aid kit. Favorite pet toys, blankets and treats will give your pet a sense of security and familiarity. Make sure your pet is wearing its ID tags and that the information on the tags is legible. Carry a photograph of your pet with you in case your pet gets lost.
If your road trip includes overnight stops be sure to call in advance to make sure your pet is welcome in the hotels where you will be staying. Whether you are staying in a pet-friendly hotel room or in the homes of friends and relatives a portable pet crate or kennel will provide a comfortable place for your pet to sleep. Make sure the carrier has room for your pet to sit, lie down, stand up and turn around.
Just like people, pets can suffer from motion sickness. In order to prevent stomach upsets, limit food and water to non-travel times such as an hour or two before your trip or during breaks. Take along ice cubes, which are easier on your pet than large amounts of water.
Do not allow your pet to ride with its head outside of the window. An obstacle close to the vehicle could potentially strike your dog’s head or dirt particles could get into your pet’s eyes. Never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked car. Temperatures in confined spaces in the spring and summer can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes.
By taking a few precautions, we can protect our four-footed friends and enjoy spending the lazy days of summer with them.