By Amber Keiper
The summer season can be an exciting time for you and your pets with school being out and outdoor activities like biking, swimming, camping, and picnicking being in full swing. Don’t let the summer heat get in the way of having fun with your pet. Keep them safe during this time of year with these summer HEAT tips:
H is for Heat Stroke
Did you know that a car in direct sunlight can quickly reach an internal temperature of 116 degrees when outside it may only be 75°F? That’s because the car’s interior – seats, dashboard, etc. – radiates the heat, transforming your car into an oven.
It only takes about 15 minutes for a child to die of hyperthermia relating to heat stroke after being left in a car.
Dogs are even more at risk because they have very few sweat glands – most are found between their paw pads (which is why dogs pant in order to cool down).
You can prevent hyperthermia by keeping your pet in cool shady areas with access to clean, filtered water at all times. Restrict exercise on those especially hot summer days and remember – NEVER leave your pets in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. With the hectic lives we live these days, it can be very easy for a few minutes to quickly turn into an hour or more so it’s best not to even take the chance.
E is for Emergency
Besides heat stroke, there are other dangers associated with all the increased activity and extreme temperatures of summer. Our dogs are more likely to spend time outdoors running, swimming, and playing at the park, so it’s just responsible parenting to keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand for any emergency that may occur. A broken, bleeding toenail, a cut or burnt paw pad, and even the accidental ingestion of a foreign or toxic substance can happen to any of our pets without warning, so make sure to be prepared for what life may throw your way.
Make sure to also have with you – either in your wallet or your cell phone – the phone number and address of the nearest emergency animal clinic with you in case a trip to the emergency room is in order. It’s recommended to also have the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline (888) 426-4435 programmed into your phone book.
A is for Asphalt
Because we wear shoes, we may tend to forget to think about how hot the floor can get during the summer. Our pets don’t always have that luxury. Burnt, blistered and bleeding paw pads can be avoided by making sure to walk your dog on grassy areas instead of hot asphalt. Try going for walks early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not so strong.
If you can’t avoid the hot pavement, there are dog boots, like Ultra Paw Rugged Dog Boots, that you can purchase for your pooch to help protect them from the scorching ground. If your dog resists to wearing paw apparel, you can also try Musher’s Secret – a wax-based cream that you can apply to your dog or cat’s paw pads to protect them from sand, hot pavement, ice and salt. It’s what dog mushers use to keep their dog’s protected and running at full speed during those long, dog sled races.
T is for Thirst
The most important thing to remember to keep your pet safe and healthy during the summer heat is to stay hydrated. Like I mentioned before, our dogs don’t have as many sweat glands as we do so drinking lots of water throughout the summer months can help to keep them cool. Make sure they have plenty of access to clean, filtered water ESPECIALLY if they’re outdoors.
Don’t leave home without a collapsible water bowl…or perhaps investing in a stainless steel pet water bottle from H2O4K9.
So remember – for summertime fun, watch out for the summer H.E.A.T.!
Amber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues – a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to barfworld.com or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.