During the hot summer months, pets are at risk of dehydration and sunburn. To keep them cool and avoid heat stroke, it's essential to prepare properly. Unfortunately, pet owners often make mistakes that can put their pets' health at risk. Here are the 5 most common summertime blunders pet owners make:
While a summer cut can help your pet beat the heat, it's not a good idea to entirely shave your dog's coat because it protects against overheating and sunburn. Dogs, like humans, have sensitive skin and shouldn't be bathed too frequently. Excessive itching and licking can be signs of summer allergies or parasites, so keep an eye out for these symptoms.
In the heat, your pet's digestion can suffer, so try feeding them probiotic-rich, chilled foods. Refreshing options like watermelon and curds, as well as healthier protein options like chicken and fish, can be great alternatives to red meat.
Choose the coolest part of the day to go for walks, as pavement can be dangerously hot even in the late afternoon, causing paw burns and overheating. Take breaks from playing in the shade to avoid over-excitement during the hot summer months, and provide a portable water dish to maintain hydration.
In the warmer months, leaving doors and windows open can put your pets at risk. Even if your pet is a proficient swimmer, it's important to keep a close eye on them during pool parties. Never leave your pet in a hot car for even five minutes, especially during road trips.
Animals that are young, old, overweight, sick, from colder climates, have a flatter face or are of a tiny breed are more likely to suffer from heatstroke. Warning signs include rapid breathing, drooling, drowsiness, and trouble keeping one's balance. If you notice these symptoms, place your pet in a cool, shady spot and cool them down by pouring room-temperature water over their body, wiping their body down with a wet cloth, or even using an ice pack.