Warm weather is a fun and celebratory time of the year. Weddings, graduations, parties, and beaches are the central focus of us human's time, but it's also a time for our animals to experience too, and while it can be a fun time for them as well, they are also in need of taking precautions to keep healthy and safe. Here's an article that gives you some summer pet tips to keep our beloved creatures safe.
Health Tips for your pets for warmer weather
Spring is sprung, the weather nice for humans and pets, but Spring also heralds the return of such things as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and allergies! So our first order of business is to make sure our pets are up to date on vaccines, heart-worm preventative, and starting or continuing on (depending on where in the country you live) flea and tick preventative.
Those pesky allergies can be helped with good quality diets, fish oils and trace minerals such as Zinc, Manganese and Vitamins A & D, but often medication is needed.
Warm weather also means our pets are outside more often. Going for runs or to the dog park. Make sure you have plenty of fresh water available if you do these activities. Remember dogs sweat only through their pads, so cooling water is essential to keep hydrated. Remember too, if your dog has been a couch potato all winter, that he, like you, needs to build up his endurance for exercise. Also remember that while you have nice running shoes on, the dogs pads may be sensitive to hot asphalt or concrete, and also can be injured on these surfaces.
For pets kept outside, make sure there is plenty of shade and fresh cool water. While it seems to be a no brainer, do not leave your pet in a closed up car in the sun. Every year, vets still see heat stroke from a pet exposed to those high temperatures. This can be a real tragedy. Leave your pet at home during those hot days please.
Keep your pet on a leash! Vets too often hear, “Gee he never runs away” as we’re treating the pet from a dog bite or from being hit by a car. Especially in warm weather, more pets, more people, more traffic.
And always remember to pick up after your dog. In warm weather parasites hatch from worm loaded pets. These parasites can then not only infect your dog, but some can go to humans, especially children!
Older pets may have exercise intolerance. If you notice less energy, or he’s out of breath easily, have your pet checked for heart disease and/or arthritis.
Sunburn is not much of a problem except in white short coated pets, so be careful about their exposure to the sun. Also if the nose is light in color vs typical dark black, this is an area of concern for sunburn also. Remember, pets lick themselves, so most human sun screen products are not recommended!
Follow these tips and enjoy a happy and healthy summer season.
– Dr Mark Newkirk, Newkirk Family Veterinarians
About the Author: Dr Mark Newkirk is CEO, owner and operator of Newkirk Family Veterinarians. Serving pets for 3 decades!