Summer brings family vacations, poolside BBQs and other fun activities, but in Florida it can also mean scorching temperatures and an array of dangers for your pets. Here is a top five list to ensure your pet stays cool and safe this summer.
1. Stay Cool
While most dogs are eager to exercise and play in the sun, limit the amount they get and keep them inside during extreme heat spells. If you and your pet will be spending time in the sun, be mindful of heat exhaustion warning signs such as constant panting or trouble breathing, increased heart or respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, bloody diarrhea or vomiting. Older or overweight pets should be kept indoors, and in air-conditioning if possible.
2. Stay Hydrated
Florida’s triple digit degrees can cause pets to become dehydrated fast. Always ensure your pets have fresh, clean water and a comfy spot out of the sunshine. If you are planning a walk with your dog, bring along some water and take a break to hydrate.
3. Stay Alive
Even with the windows down, temperatures in a parked car can reach into the hundreds within minutes, which can be fatal for animals.
4. Stay Afloat
Not all dogs know how to swim, so always supervise pets in pools or bodies of water. Dogs left unattended can slurp up pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that can upset their stomachs. It’s also a good idea to bathe dogs after their refreshing dip to remove residual chlorine or salt, which can irritate the animal’s skin.
5. Stay Healthy
It’s tempting to treat your pet to a bite off the BBQ grill or a sip of your cold beer, but variations in diet, especially in older pets can cause intestinal irritation and alcoholic beverages can be toxic. Also make certain items like citronella candles and insect repellent are kept away from areas where your pet might ingest them. Unless it is made specifically for pets, do not use any insect repellent or sunscreen on your animals as they have been found to cause an array of side effects ranging from vomiting to neurological damage.