By Jackie Kellum
With the start of Summer comes some potential health hazards for our pets, that we need to keep in mind. The following are a few Summer pet safety tips:
Never leave your pet in a car! Even parking in the shade and leaving the windows open is not an option. While you are “just running a quick errand,” in a hot car your pet’s temperature can rise rapidly and can overheat in a very short period of time. For example, with the outside temperature at just 78 F, and the car parked in the shade, the inside car temperature can quickly reach 90 F. A car parked in the sun, the temperature can quickly rise to 16o F. It only takes minutes to reach dangerous levels leading to heatstroke and even death.
Always make sure your pet has cool, clean water available at all times. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid heat injuries in the summer months. Dogs, even cats, drink more on hot days, and water warms up quickly, so make sure to change your pet’s water often. Do not allow your dog to hang out of the window of a moving car. Objects such as gravel or small rocks on the street / road could seriously injure your pet’s face or eyes, or he/she might fall or impulsively jump out.
Your pet CAN get sunburn. This is more likely in white dogs, hairless dogs, and dogs with light colored fur, such as Pit Bulls and Dalmatians. If you have a pet such as these, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen to your pet before it is allowed to be outside for an extended period of time.
Keep your dog’s paws cool at all times. Limit the time you let your dog roam in the backyard and outdoors, especially on hot asphalt. Since the ground heats up quickly during the summertime, your dog’s body heat can rapidly rise, and sensitive paw pads can get burned. Try not to walk your dog during the hottest part of the day: 11AM – 3PM. If you walk your dog and you carry a bottle of water for yourself, have water also available for your dog, and keep the walks short. Consider if the dogs will be more comfortable and safer at home when it is hot outside, while you run your errands rather than having the dog go with you, especially if you are going to a crowded warm place like the tianguis.
Some signs of heat stress are: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue. IF any of these are present, immediately move your dog into the shade. If possible, apply a cool wet towel to your pet’s head, neck and chest. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water. If the your dog does not improve, see your Vet immediately.
Before the rumors start to fly, Anita is taking some time off to visit her homeland of Germany. While she is on vacation, her family and long-time, caring staff will be taking care of Anita’s shelter and the cats and dogs during this time away. You may have already met a young woman named Tulu at the Wednesday Ajijic tianguis, who will continue to be there each week while Anita is away. Although she may appear young, she is mature beyond her years and has a true love and respect for animals. Please stop by and introduce yourself. I know she will appreciate your support and help to keep Anita’s Animals rescue work to continue. PayPal available.