With summer officially underway, many parts of the country have already gotten a preview of the hot weather to come. The ASPCA would like to remind you that dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do—overheating, dehydration and even sunburn—when the mercury rises. By taking these simple precautions from ASPCA experts, you can keep your animal companions happy and healthy:
– When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
– Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a one-inch length—never down to the skin, please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun—helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.
– Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
– Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle—overheating can be fatal! Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun constantly shifts during the day.
– Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets. These include excessive panting and drooling and mild weakness, along with an elevated body temperature. Please take a few moments to read the ASPCA’s complete list of Hot Weather Tips—it just might save your pet’s life!