Although summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your furry friends, the season can also pose numerous threats to your dog or cat’s health and safety, especially as the summer heat peaks in August and even September in many areas. It is important to be aware of these threats and the warning signs for various health risks that result from prolonged exposure to hot weather. Here, Intesto-Guard™ discusses summer safety tips all responsible pet owners should know and consider implementing to keep their dog or cat healthy and happy during the long, sunny days of summer.
Hot Weather Safety Tips
Maintain Quality Healthcare
During the summer season, it is important to make sure your dog or cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date as they tend to stay outdoors longer, which offers more opportunities for them to come into contact with other animals. In addition, an effective preventive against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes that carry heartworms is imperative to keep your pet healthy all year long.
It is also important to be aware of and keep your pet off lawns that have recently been chemically treated or fertilized as well as away from toxic plants and flowers. As always, you want to make sure you maintain a regular grooming regime and keep your pet well brushed, clean and free of mats.
Dogs can quickly become dehydrated and lose fluids through panting, urinating and even from evaporation through their paws. In addition to always providing your pet with plenty of cool, fresh water during all seasons, try to also give them a shady spot to hang out in on hot days or keep them inside where there is air conditioning. Dog houses are not good shelter in the summer as they can trap heat.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of dehydration (panting, dry gums and nose, thick saliva, lethargy, etc.) just giving them a bowl of water may not be enough. Electrolyte-enhanced water or an electrolyte solution may be a more effective route. However, you may also need to go to an emergency vet who can administer intravenous fluids depending on the severity of the dehydration levels.
Dogs that are brachycephalic (have a short head and snout), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chin and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat and may be more susceptible to overheating and dehydration because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-nosed dogs. Be mindful of your dog’s breed and keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air conditioning.
Heatstroke Warning Signs
Heatstroke is a serious danger to all dogs during the summer months and can often be fatal as a result of prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Some early and advanced signs of heatstroke are:
- Heavy panting
- Rapid breathing
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- White or blue gums
- Lethargy, unwillingness to move
- Uncontrollable urination or defecation
- Labored, noisy breathing
In the event your dog begins to show signs of a heatstroke, you should try to immediately cool him/her down. Severely affected dogs may require fluids, medication, support and oxygen. Be sure to continuously check your dog’s temperature during this process until it has stabilized between 100–102 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can’t get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to a veterinarian immediately.
The best treatment for heatstroke, however, is prevention. Limit the time your dog spends outside in hot weather and choose cooler times of the day for training and exercise. Provide plenty of cool, fresh water, shade, frequent rest periods and of course Intesto-Guard for optimal gut health so your four-legged friend can enjoy the great outdoors right alongside you throughout the rest of the summer season.
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Intesto-Guard’s prebiotic, probiotic and antibody (PPA) formula is 100% free of animal byproducts and has everything your pet needs to get well and stay well. Shop our products and provide the most comprehensive, natural protection against common diseases for your young and mature pets today! For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call via WhatsApp at 563-231-7999.