It's summertime and the veterinarians at DPC Veterinary Hospital want to pass on summer safety tips for pets in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Face it; our summers can be brutal on humans who can control their exposure to the sun and humidity. Can you imagine how the climate can affect pets that are pretty much reliant on their humans to keep them safe?
Sometimes it's easy for pet owners to forget that their pets have different tolerances to the hot climate than humans have and that leads to putting them unintentionally at risk. We've put together some simple tips to remind pet owners what they can do to ensure that their cat or dog makes it through another Florida summer without harm.
5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Summer
Heat is your pet's number one enemy during the summer. While we like to get outdoors and often take our pets with us, we have to keep in mind that the climate is more dangerous to our four legged friends than it is to us. Be alert to signs of heat stroke in your pet and don't hesitate to get it to a veterinarian for help.
- Symptoms of Heat Stroke. If your dog or cat exhibits excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse, get them to a vet immediately. Animals with flat faces like pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke because they can't pant as efficiently as other pets.
- Hydration. Make sure your pet has easy access to plenty of fresh, clean water to prevent dehydration. If you have an outside dog, make sure that both the pet and the water bowl have an area that is shaded all day long.
- Safe Walks. Keep in mind that your pet doesn't slip on a pair of tennis shoes when they go for a walk with you. There is nothing between the hot concrete and their bodies other than the pads on their paws. While those pads are durable they are not indestructible and can blister from the heat. Keep walks short or limit them to grassy areas (if they have not been recently sprayed with insecticides).
- Water Safety. If you take your pet with you on a boat, make sure they wear a floatation device. Not all dogs are good swimmers and the ocean, or even a lake is certainly not the same as a backyard pool.
- Avoid Party Animal Behavior. If you throw a BBQ party outside advise your guests not to feed the pet. The things we like, alcohol, buffalo wings, chocolate ice cream and cake can do serious harm to a pet's digestive system.
These are all simple tips but they are essential for your pet's safety. If you have questions about a specific summertime activity and what, if any risk it poses to your pet, give us a call today and we will be happy to offer our advice.