Summertime Tips for Pets

Our furry friends take the summer heat a little more seriously. Who could blame them? If you had to wear a furry coat, you'd probably dread the summer, too.

Pets can easily overheat, and if left unattended, it can be detrimental to their health. Here are some quick tips on keeping your pet safe and cool this summer:

Keep your yard and garden pesticide-free. These chemicals are very toxic for animals. They can burn their paws or enter their system just from stepping or rolling on them.

Regularly wash, comb, and brush your pets. Washing is an effective way to keep pets cool, and brushing them will help thin their coat. And, pet hygiene is key if you want to keep your house clean and avoid pests like fleas or ticks.

Never use human shampoo. Animals have much thinner and more sensitive skin than ours, so the chemicals in our shampoos can burn and inflame it. In addition, dogs get rid of toxins through their kidneys and excretory systems, so too many chemicals absorbed from human shampoo can put high levels of stress on those organs.

Prepare for the heat. Give your pets ample shade and water, limit their exercise during the hottest parts of the day, and make sure to watch for signs of heatstroke. If you have a couple extra minutes and want to do a fun family activity, make cold treats for your pet like peanut butter popsicles (recipe here).

Know what heatstroke looks like. Heatstroke can be fatal for pets, so it's important that you know the signs and take your pet to the veterinarian if you think they are in danger. Typical signs of heatstroke include glazed eyes, heavy panting, excessive thirst, dizziness, fever, a deep red or purple tongue, and excess salivation.

You know your pet the best and will be able to tell if something's really wrong. Never leave your pet alone in the car, and take a miniature water bowl with you for hikes and long excursions. And just remember to keep a close eye on them, because what's hot for you can be borderline unbearable for our furry family members.

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