Summer means different things to different people. For thrill-seeking travelers, summer is a season to hit the beach and soak up in its warm sands. For school-going kids, it’s a season to take a break from classroom work and pursue extracurricular activities. And for everyone else, summer means spending more time outdoors as we catch up on our hobbies and interests.
But while summer’s sunshine is largely a welcome relief, it’s never without its perils.
During summer, countries record the highest cases of dehydration and heatstroke. The fact that summer days are considerably longer than nights only increases the health risks associated with high temperatures. And needless to say, summer’s excruciating heat can be just as hard on our pets as it is on us.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to keep your four-legged companions safe and healthy during summer. Read on to uncover the seven practical tips to cushion your pets from the perils of summer weather.
Common Pet Diseases in Summer
As we’ve just indicated, there are various ways to keep your furry friends healthier and happier in summer. However, it’s best to start by understanding what could go wrong if you leave your pets to their own devices during this season.
The following are the common pet diseases in summer.
Dehydration is undoubtedly the most significant health concern in summer.
Our furry friends lose a great deal of moisture from their bodies during hot weather. Much of that water is lost through the sweat glands underneath their paw pads.
Frequent drinking, dry nose, and wet saliva are the clearest indications that your pet is dehydrated. Without urgent intervention, chronic dehydration can lead to constipation and even seizures.
Our pets do not dissipate heat as effectively as we do. That’s because of their fewer sweat glands.
Animals like dogs supplement sweating with panting as a way of cooling themselves down from unbearable heat. But with persistent temperature increases, as is usually the case during summers, the risks of suffering from heatstroke are never far away.
Symptoms of heatstroke include heavy panting and labored breathing. You may also observe hypersalivation (excessive drooling), fatigue, fever, and skin that’s very hot to the touch.
Pets tend to spend more time outdoors during summer than any other season. The outdoors offer perfect ventilation from summer’s unforgiving heat. But it also carries several risks, one of which is pool poisoning.
Pool poisoning in pets occurs when your four-legged friend ingests saltwater. Exposure to the various salts used in pool cleaning, such as chlorides, can lead to a host of gastrointestinal complications like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Your four-legged friend could also become lethargic and even develop seizures depending on the amount consumed.
Besides the salts used in pool water purification, the blue-green algae commonly growing by the poolside is also known to be toxic to pets. This algae is responsible for several canine deaths.
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Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy During Summer
Dress Your Pet for the Season
It’s easier to invest in protective winter gear for our pets but forget to give some thought to summer weather. Unfortunately, summer can be just as hard on your furry friends.
That’s why vets recommend dressing your pet for the occasion.
Summer clothes for pets should comprise primarily of warm, heat-reflecting shirts and tough shoes. When looking for the best dog shoes for summer, insist on breathable, highly-reflective shoes that are easier to put on and take off.
Increase Watering Points
Increasing watering points is an ingenious way to avert dehydration. This strategy is particularly effective for households with more than one pet, where the animals often compete for resources.
You need to place the drinking bowls at different spots inside and outside the house. That allows skittish pets to drink within a safe distance of their domineering counterparts.
If it comes down to it, flavor the water using pet-friendly treats (like meat broth for cats and dogs) to encourage drinking.
Switch to Wet Pet Food
One of the main reasons vets encourage wet pet foods is that these foods are incredibly rehydrating. Wet pet foods will significantly benefit fussy eaters and drinkers, such as cats.
And the best part is that plenty of brands sells canned wet pet foods. Just be sure to implement proper storage techniques to prevent the food from losing its moisture.
You can also supplement canned wet pet foods with water-rich fruits like cantaloupe and watermelon. However, research to establish that your pet can safely eat these products.
Keep Your Pets off the Pavements
The pavements can get unbearably hot during summer, even for pets with shoes on.
So, your best bet is to keep your furry friends off the pavements.
Only allow your pets to walk on the pavements if you can also do so barefooted. And that includes the driveways, patios, car parks, and pedestrian sidewalks.
Don’t Leave Your Pet Home Unsupervised
It doesn’t matter how busy your professional schedule may look. Summer isn’t a season to leave your furry friends home unsupervised.
It’s worse if the animals spend a great deal of their time indoors.
Why not consider getting a pet sitter, even if only for this season! If this option doesn’t permit you to leave your pets indoors somehow, be sure to place them in an air-conditioned room.
Don’t Let Your Pet Venture Outdoors Unsupervised Either
Summer is synonymous with the outdoors. So, it’s not surprising that many pet parents purposely allow their furry friends to venture outdoors unattended.
However, this move could have disastrous consequences.
The dangers of pets venturing outdoors unsupervised during the summer range from pool poisoning to accidents on the freeway and even getting mauled by other free-roaming pets. If you’re unlucky enough, your pet could be stolen.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
You’re cruising around in your SUV on a hot summer afternoon, taking in the scenic sights and serenading breeze. Among the occupants in the car is your adorable cat or dog.
During these trips, it’s easy to pull over at a grocery store or ice machine and leave your pet in the car. A terrible idea!
By the time you get back, your helpless pet could be down with heatstroke. That’s especially if you left the car with all windows rolled up.
Summer presents serious health concerns for humans and animals alike. However, it’s reassuring to know that there are various techniques you can implement to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy amidst summer’s excruciating heat.