Today is the Summer Solstice and that means it’s the longest day of the year, but also the official beginning of summer. If you live in the South, it’s already been hot, when it hasn’t been raining, so today just means it won’t be dark until after 9. You’re used to the heat. I thought this would be a good time for a reminder of some things to do to provide the best pet care for your dogs and cats this summer.
Many of these are things you’ve heard before and are fairly common sense. I hope I don’t have to tell you not to leave your pet in a car, ever, especially not now, even if the windows are down. It’s too hot, even if it’s cloudy. Even if it’s just for a second – don’t do it. Try and avoid longer walks in the middle of the day. Do them in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and the sun isn’t as high. Make sure they have plenty of clean, cool water. Your pet supply shop or outdoor store should have a portable water bowl. Make sure you take plenty of water, for you and the dog.
If they stay outside, make sure they have an area to be out of the sun. Be careful with their paws on asphalt as well. If that’s too hot for them, they will usually let you know. Panting is normal for dogs. That’s how they cool off. If you have a dog that has a shorter snoot, it’s harder for them to breathe when they are very hot or tired. Be sure and keep an eye on them and make sure they are okay, especially if you are going to be leaving them alone. If you hear your dog making funny noises like wheezing or something, it may mean they are not getting enough air. In that case cut the exercise short and get it to a vet.
Another thing to be careful of with your pets, especially dogs, is sunburn. Pets can get sunburned. Puppies, light colored dogs and dogs with shorter hair are more susceptible. So that haircut you’ve gotten your dog, thinking that will keep them cooler, may put them at risk for sunburn. The nose, ears, belly and groin are more likely to get sunburned because there is less hair there. You shouldn’t be surprised that there is a pet sunscreen available. Most people don’t recommend using the sunscreen you would use because it could contain toxins that they may lick off. Check with your vet about what they think is best.
The summer is a time for fun in the sun and it’s even more fun when the pets are included in the activities. Just take a little time to prepare for the heat and the sun and you and your pets can make the most of the extra hours of sunlight!
Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA. You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/