As Medina heats up along with the rest of Ohio, temperatures are skyrocketing, and humidity levels are making the air thick and sticky. Although summer is usually the perfect time to head outdoors and enjoy all the delights of the season, high temperatures and humidity can pose a threat to your furry pal, as they tag along on your adventures. Take the following seven warm weather precautions during this scorching summer, to keep your pet safe from harm.
#1: Groom your pet according to the season
Grooming your pet is essential for their health and overall well-being, but it’s more important during the hot summer months. Regular brushing is vital for removing loose and dead fur, to prevent matting, and disperse healthy oils to protect the skin. For thick-coated breeds, a smooth, sleek coat is essential to thermoregulate appropriately, as mats must be prevented for them to achieve proper airflow. For double-coated breeds, shaving them, and removing their protective fur in the summer can actually cause them to overheat more easily. Instead of shaving your fluffy pal, brush daily to remove any loose hair, and engage in water activities when outdoors to cool your pooch.
#2: Provide the essentials to keep your pet cool
When you venture outdoors, ensure you have the essentials your fur-coat-wearing friend needs to stay cool and comfortable. Fresh water, ventilation, and shade are critical for staving off heat-related issues, so set up a yard umbrella or open-sided canopy with a fan for a perfect shaded resting area. And, don’t forget to fill your pet’s water dish to the brim with cool, fresh water.
#3: Keep your pet out of direct sunlight as much as possible
Pets who are white or light-colored are at increased risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma, because of their lack of protective pigment and fur. Harmful UV rays can burn through the minimal fur that covers their ears and eyelids, leading to squamous cell sores that often require surgical removal. On the other hand, pets who are dark-colored are more likely to overheat in intense sunlight, since their dark fur traps warming rays. On hot, sunny days, keep your furry pal out of direct sunlight as much as possible, and encourage your light-colored pet to avoid sunbathing.
#4: Safeguard your pet during anxiety-inducing thunderstorms
Summer thunderstorms can be refreshing as they roll through, and booming thunder and dazzling lightning can be more awe-inspiring than a July Fourth fireworks show. However, your pet is unlikely to enjoy watching a raging storm dance across the sky, and may instead cower under your bed, or in the bathtub. If your pet battles storm fear, talk to your Medina Veterinary Clinic veterinarian for recommendations that will help soothe their anxiety during severe summer storms.
#5: Shield your pet against parasites
Pesky parasites enjoy warmer temperatures as much as you and your pet, emerging from their winter hibernation spots to cause irritation and disease. Protect your four-legged friend from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes with parasite preventives, and keep an eye out for other biting or stinging insects, as well. Pets frequently investigate things they shouldn’t, such as spiders, ants, bees, wasps, and hornets.
#6: Monitor your pet for environmental allergy signs
Like people, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies, and summer can be a prime time for allergy flares. A hot, humid environment, paired with the licking, chewing, and scratching from pollen irritation, can be a recipe for developing hot spots, which are common in pets who experience seasonal flares, and can form seemingly overnight. If your furry pal begins licking, chewing, or scratching, talk to Dr. Parker or Dr. LoBuglio about your pet’s discomfort, before it becomes a serious problem.
#7: Watch out for heat exhaustion and heatstroke signs in your pet
While heatstroke signs are fairly obvious—diarrhea, collapse, seizures—heat exhaustion signs are more subtle. But, at the first sign of heat exhaustion, you must take immediate action to lower your pet’s body temperature, and ward off more serious heatstroke. If you notice your furry pal panting excessively, acting disoriented, or staggering, head indoors to chill out with a cool bath and a fan.
Has your fur-coat-wearing pet had too much fun in the sun? Contact our hospital for summertime assistance.