Our Client, Bee, ready for fun in the sun.
Take walks early and avoid hot pavement and asphalt. If you wouldn't walk barefoot on a surface, it's probably no good for your pet either. Also, because your BFF is much lower to the ground, those paved surfaces can actually increase their body temperature causing them to get overheated quickly.
Just like in the spring, you'll want to steer clear of areas with tall grass and weeds on your walks; chances are there are parasitic insects hiding there that you don't want hitchhiking back home with you. The same goes for areas near roadside gutters and ditches with lingering puddles and standing water - need we say mosquitoes? After an outing always check between the pads of your pet's paws to be sure there are no pebbles or burrs lodged in them.
Always carry water with you on walks and outings with your Pet. (Did you know July is Pet Hydration Month?) Proper hydration is just as important for your four-legged friend as it is for you, and many pets don't get enough clean water on a regular basis. This means that when the heat starts to climb they are at an even higher risk for dehydration. If your fur baby becomes dehydrated it can lead to a host of serious health problems, including brain damage.
Because your pet's body is made up of 80% water, to stay fully hydrated s/he needs to consume a minimum of one ounce of (preferably filtered) water per pound of body weight on a daily basis. Yep, that's right, daily. If your cat or dog is 20 lbs, for example, he or she needs to consume the human equivalent of 2 1/2 glasses of water per day. (You can also add broth to your dog or cat's diet to help them consume more liquid and stay better hydrated.)
Does your cat snub the bowl in favor of drinking from the faucet? While it may seem cute or curious how much cats seem to love sinks, Fluffy might actually be trying to tell you something. Water bowls should be emptied, cleaned, and refilled daily to avoid the growth of bacteria.
Our client, Gehrig, knows how to stay hydrated.
In managing your pet's exposure to hotter weather it is also important to pay attention to the heat index. The actual air temperature is one thing, but how you and your fur baby experience the heat and the effect it has on you will also depend on how humid it is. For instance, if the air temperature outside is 90 degrees, due to all that added moisture in the air, the feels like temp will be a whopping 132! That's hot enough to cause a stroke.
It's also possible for some animals to be at risk in warm temperatures. Small dogs, for instance, start to be potentially unsafe at a mere 75 degrees; this is because animals are unable to cool themselves in high humidity. When planning outdoor activities always keep in mind the humidity level as well as the air temperature.
We highly recommend not leaving your companion animals outside in the summer heat, and especially not leaving them chained or tethered. If you must leave your pet outdoors for extended periods of time, especially when you're away from home, make sure they have access to shade, as well as a place to be able to get in out of the rain. It should be noted that a dog house does not provide relief from heat.
Summer Safety Tips
The Heat is On
June Means Hurricane Season - Are You Prepared?
ASPCA Hot Weather Safety Tips
How Does The Heat Index Effect My Dog?
Dehydration and Water Needs in Dogs
Pet Hydration Month - Is Your Pet Drinking Enough Water?
Summer Hazards and Your Cat