Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot Weather Tips

Hot weather can be deadly for our pets. Here are some tips to remember:

Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even cracked windows won’t protect your pet from overheating or suffering from heat stroke during hot summer days. When it’s 80°F outside, the inside of a car can reach above 100°F in just 10 minutes, even with windows cracked.

Exercise your dog in the early morning or evening hours, instead of during the middle of the day when it’s hottest.

If your dog or cat is out during the day, remember that asphalt and concrete can get very hot and burn the pads of their feet. Your pet must always have shelter available to protect it from extreme temperatures and inclement weather. Be aware that older and overweight pets, as well as flat-faced breeds, such as Persian cats, pugs and bulldogs, are more likely to overheat in hot weather.

Keep your pet away from unfamiliar yards and grassy areas as many people treat their lawns with pesticides and fertilizers, which can cause severe intestinal upset in dogs and cats when ingested. Some types of mulch can also be hazardous.

Provide your pet with fresh, cool water every day in a tip-proof bowl.

Keep your pet well groomed, but resist the temptation to shave off all of his hair in an effort to keep him cool. Your pet’s coat will protect him from getting sunburned. A matted coat traps in the heat, attracts parasites and can cause skin sores.

Keep your pet away from spots or puddles of auto coolant in the garage, driveways or parking lots. The sweet taste of this poisonous liquid is tempting to animals, but can be fatal. You might consider using a more pet-friendly variety of coolant that is less toxic.

Don’t let your dog ride in the back of an open vehicle, such as a pick-up truck. Unless he’s riding in the cab with you, he could slide around, bounce or jump out of the moving vehicle. Also, the floor of the truck bed can get extremely hot and may burn the pads of your dog’s feet. If your dog must travel in the back of an open vehicle, make sure he’s in a kennel that is safely tethered to the floor of the truck bed.