Updated: Jun 19, 2019
Goodbye winter...hello summer! In southwest Missouri, it sure doesn't take long for the weather to go from one extreme to the next! With heaters enjoying their annual vacation and air conditioners working overtime, this is the perfect time to revisit a few tips to help keep our pets safe during the hottest months of the year.
ANIMALS GET SUNBURNS, TOO!
They can even get skin cancer. Think about that the next time you're spending a day outside, enjoying the security SPF 100 has provided YOU, while your loyal short-haired pet sits next to you, unprotected.
But before slathering sunscreen on your four-legged friend, make sure it's pet-friendly. If they lick the wrong lotion, they could easily end up with an upset tummy.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A CAR!
Statistic, statistic, infographic, horror story, science lesson on the greenhouse effect... You've heard it all, and will hear it again. Just don't do it. Plus, you'll probably get your window broken out by a good Samaritan... who just saved your pet's life.
P.S. Don't do it. Seriously.
It's easy to tell when humans need to cool down. Sweat, heavy breathing and the overwhelming urge to jump into a swimming pool are a few of our symptoms. Pets can overheat just as easily, especially if they don't have a bowl of fresh water available! Some symptoms of heat exhaustion in pets are panting, excessive thirst, a bright or dark red tongue and gums, elevated body temperature, staggering, and even collapse. You won't see beads of sweat running from your pet's brow, but if you see any of those signs, get them cooled off quickly!
Why in the world would we talk about antifreeze in the summer?! Because your car is MUCH more likely to overheat during summer months *knock on wood* resulting in a puddle of sweet-smelling antifreeze under your vehicle.
Pets are drawn to the scent of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, and the taste can quickly put them in hot water. Please keep a watchful eye under your vehicle, and on your temperature gauge to make sure coolant stays where it's supposed to!
PARASITES AND FERTILIZER
Playing outdoors might be your pet's favorite activity, but there could be dangers lurking in your lawn. Mosquitoes, ticks and fleas...OH MY! This trifecta can bring heartworms, tapeworms, and several other diseases and parasites. Make sure your four-legged friends are up to date on their vaccinations and heartworm preventative treatment, so you have less to worry about.
And while fertilizers and pesticides may be great for your grass, they could cause serious problems for your pets. To cut back on pesticides, keep the grass cut shorter in the areas your pet likes to play. If you use fertilizer, either look for pet-friendly alternatives, or read the instructions THOROUGHLY to know exactly when it's safe for your pets.
Also, be careful during walks. You never know which neighbor has just applied a fertilizer that could be problematic for your pooch!
Please be mindful of your surroundings and your pet's behavior. If you ever have any questions, your vet is a great resource. Now go have a wonderful, and safe summer!