Keep Your Pet Safe This Summer
By Joyce Gropper, Owner of Animal Palace
Even though it is always summer here in Florida, temperatures can rise to extreme levels especially during the summer months (June through September). While we want to enjoy time outdoors with our pets… let’s make sure we do this safely! There are some precautions pet owners can take to prevent overheating.
One thing is that black dogs retain heat due to the color of their coat. Think about it. Black vehicles attract heat so the same theory applies to black dogs. If you enjoy taking your dog for a walk or extreme playdate in the dog park, one idea is to pack lots of ice cubes and keep them in a cooler. Feed them to your pet or add them to a bowl of fresh water. Also look ahead at the weather forecast to see exactly how high the temperatures might soar and consider starting out early in the day and be done between 10:00 am and 11:00 am at the latest, or go out in the late afternoon. Take frequent stops and water breaks. Always be prepared with bottled water and a collapsible water bowl. Some dogs can even learn to drink water from a sports water bottle.
Many people are not aware that pets are not able to cool off as efficiently as people. They do not sweat and have to pant in order to release the heat. Issues that arise from overheating in summer heat can include dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn. Let’s take a closer look at some of these issues more closely
Dehydration- Symptoms of dehydration include the gums of the mouth feeling tacky to touch and the skin may become slow to return to its natural position when pulled up. Dehydration can lead to lethargy as it progresses and the pet’s eyes may appear sunken. In mild to moderate cases you can give you dog small doses of water over time but in severe cases, IV fluids must be administered at your vet hospital. Always keep clean, fresh water available for your pet at all times in a container that can’t be tipped over easily.
Heat Stroke- Every year we hear of dogs that suffer from heat stroke. Symptoms include extreme panting, salivating, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. As it becomes fatal, your pet will become comatose and their temperature will range from 101 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pet is experiencing heat stroke, call your veterinarian immediately as time is of the essence !!! Use cold water to bring the temperature down and soak towels with cool water while you are on your way to get medical care. However, do not let the temperature dip below 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit as this can cause hypothermia. Remember, access to shade, ventilation and water are key to avoid stroke. Avoid taking your pet out during the hottest part of the day and remember dogs with short noses like pugs cannot pant as efficiently as other breeds.
Sunburn- Dogs can burn just as easily as humans. This often occurs in non-pigmented areas that have less or no hair-often the ears and nose in many breeds or the underside of the belly. Since dogs and cats might lick off their sunblock, again access to shade is essential. Between the hours of 10-4 are the best times to keep your pets out of the sun. Aloe can soothe a pets’ burned sin but see a veterinarian if it severe enough.
On walks try to avoid hot bricks or asphalt which can burn a pet’s feet if they are not toughened from exercise or if it is extremely hot. A good rule of thumb is: if it is too hot for you, it will be for your pet as well. If your pet is thirsty, it is going to be more prone to drink from puddles. This should be avoided as sometimes chemicals have leaked such as antifreeze and could be deadly if the pet drinks it.
Hot cars are the worst. It is imperative that pet owners never leave their pets inside a car as the heat can easily be from 20-40 degrees warmer in a very short time. As much fun as it is to take our pets for rides, unless you can take them with you once you reach your destination, then don’t take them at all! Also a shorter haircut may help in the hotter months. While we do not want to encourage shaving a dog to the skin, a short cut (puppy cut) is often welcomed by your pet. Hair can get matted more easily too during warmer weather.
Swimming pools are definitely off limit unless your pet is supervised at all times. Teach your dog to get out of the pool safely as a precaution than to deal with the incredible sadness of losing a pet to drowning.
At Animal Palace Pet Spa, we always have an eye on your dog. We have 6 cameras that captures every movement 24 hours a day. If dogs are going to spend time with us, we make sure they are given cool water throughout the day. If dryers are used in cages, they are cool ones and the pets are constantly checked from their well-being. For all new salon clients mention this article and get $10 off your first full groom and for our loyal clients, mention this article and get a free tooth brushing during the months of April and May. (This offer does not apply to our mobile grooming service). Call 561-383-5000 and remember we normally open seven days a week in our salon located 9176 Forest Hill Boulevard in the Kobosko’s Crossing Shopping Center in Wellington just a mile east of State Route 7 (441).
Animal Palace Pet Spa and mobile grooming started 15 years ago in Wellington. The company currently has a salon located at 9176 Forest Hill Blvd. in the Kobosco Crossing Shopping Center along with their 3 mobile grooming vans . Joyce and Harris Gropper and their son Mischa run the company and their motto is: All pets are treated like royalty. Additionally, they groom all breeds of dogs big and small… cats too! Call 561-383-5000 to make your appointment. Open 7 days a week for your convenience.