As summer quickly approaches, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Never leave your pet in the car. Though you may only be running a quick errand, it only takes a few minutes for your pet to overheat. Even if it feels cool outside and your windows are down, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to over 120 F in a matter of minutes. I know it is difficult for those of you who, like me, like to take your baby everywhere with you. However, your pet will be much happier and safer at home in a temperature controlled environment.
Provide ample water. Water should always be accessible to your pet. Even if you only put out food once or twice a day, be sure to always have water available. We always have at least two water bowls available for Max just in case. And if you plan to go on a car trip or other outdoor activity, don't depend on alternative water sources. Be sure to take your own water and bowl. Pets are often more comfortable drinking out of their own dish and will be more likely to stay hydrated.
Be careful when cutting. Before you get your dog that "high and tight" summer haircut, talk to your vet or groomer to determine if your pet is likely to get a sunburn. Some pets, particularly those with light skin and hair, are prone to sunburns. Sunburns effect pets in the same way they do humans: pain, peeling, itching and even the increased likelihood of skin cancer. If you decide to go with the short cut, as we do with Max, you may want to layer him in a light-weight shirt when going out in the sun.
Don't let your pet overdo it. Though exercise is important to all pets, make sure your pet doesn't overexert himself. This could lead to your pet being overheated, and thus a heatstroke. So long as your pet is a healthy weight, this shouldn't be much of a problem. But if your pet begins to pant uncontrollably, then it is time to rest. If your pet does have a heatstroke, place cool, wet towels on hairless parts of the body, such as the belly, and call your vet immediately.