Summer is here! You may be ready to embrace the sunshine and warmer temperatures, but there are some very real considerations that you need to make when it comes to caring for your pet during the hottest season of the year here in Fort Walton Beach.
Here are our top tips for keeping your pet safe and cool this summer season.
Don't skimp on the water
Your pet needs water all year round, but especially in summer when the temperatures are at their highest. Provide free access to fresh, cool water all day long by regularly checking your pet's water dishes and placing them in various locations around your property so that they don't have to travel too far for a drink. Try and monitor how much they are consuming so that you can be certain they aren't at risk of becoming dehydrated. In addition to drinking water, you may want to use your pool or shower to give your pet regular opportunities to cool off. Standing in a cool spray is a great way to lower your hot pet's body temperature.
Watch when you walk
If you have a dog, daily walks are almost certainly part of your regular routine. However, sidewalks and sand can become unbearably hot during the middle part of the day, putting your pet at risk of burning their paws. Instead, you will need to consider taking walks early in the morning, or after the sun has set, and always check the temperature of the ground with the back of your hand before your head outside.
Schedule a grooming session
Your pet's coat is essential for helping them regulate their body temperature. However, matted fur can actually trap heat and lead to heatstroke, so we recommend that you schedule some time for a good, thorough grooming session to remove all loose hair, skin, and debris from their coat which will leave them better able to deal with hot temperatures.
Don't leave pets in hot cars
We cannot stress this enough. Despite most people knowing that leaving an animal in a hot car is dangerous, there are still a shocking number of pets that die every year as a result of this action. Opening a window or parking in the shade will not make leaving your pet alone in a car any safer, and unless you absolutely must take your pet out with you, you are better off leaving them at home.
Keep your pet out of the direct sunlight
One may think that sunburns only affect humans, but the fact is that UV rays can damage your pet's skin too - especially if they have short hair and pink skin. You can and should invest in veterinary sunscreen to minimize this risk. Human varieties should be avoided since they contain toxins that are harmful to pets.
If you haven't yet microchipped your pet, now is the ideal time to adopt this form of identification. Summer weather means that animals spend longer outdoors than usual, and even if you take steps to keep your pet safe, there is still a significantly greater risk that they will become lost or stolen. In fact, statistics show that as many as one in three pets will be lost or stolen during their lifetime. Microchipping has been shown to hugely increase the likelihood that you will be successfully reunited with your pet since it is tamper-proof and more reliable than conventional methods of identification. Enquire with our team for more information.
Be food thoughtful
Not all the summer foods that we like to enjoy are safe to share with our pets. Some can be downright dangerous. Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, avocado and guacamole, ice cream, candy, alcohol, grapes and raisins, uncooked cookie mix and meat containing bones can all prove dangerous to pets so be careful what you and any guests you have shared or leave unattended.
Get his parasite prevention up to date
No doubt your pet is already on a robust preventative care program to keep him fully protected from the many infectious diseases that couldn't threaten his health and happiness. However, certain disease-carrying parasites are more prevalent in the summer so it is prudent to check with our vet that your pet is completely up to date with his preventative care.
If you are feeling hot under the collar about keeping your pet safe and cool this summer, our experienced animal care team will be happy to help. Get in touch with our veterinary hospital in Fort Walton Beach, FL today to speak to us or to arrange an appointment by calling 850-810-0700.