If you think it’s too hot outside for you, think how hot it is for our furry friends. It is important that we are taking extra precautions when bringing our pets along on our summer adventures. Use this check list from the ASPCA to keep your 4-legged family member safe:
- Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh and clean water. This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how much your pet drinks in the summer.
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. This practice is even illegal in several states!
- Keep an eye on your pet. Some of the signs of overheating are: include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness or even collapse.
- Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as easily. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- When it is very hot out, don’t let your pet linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
- Do not leave dogs unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
- Feel free to trim longer hair on your pet, but never shave them: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Also, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
- Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well.
- Food and drink commonly found at barbecues can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments.
People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet
- Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine
- Coconut and Coconut Oil
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
- Milk and Dairy
- Onions, Garlic, Chives
- Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
- Salt and Salty Snack Foods
- Yeast Dough
If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these foods or poisonous substances, note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.