Summer is one of the best times of the year for us and our pets! It is the perfect season to spend time with our furry friends while making the most of the additional sunshine these long months have to offer! But while focusing on all the fun to be had, we need to remember to take the proper precautions in insure everyone, even our pets, get to have a healthy and happy summer experience!
Here are some tips and tricks on beating the heat this summer!
Keep Them Hydrated!
Cool water is one of the most important things to remember when the days get hot! Your pets need constant access to cool water and can dehydrate quickly under the hot sun, or even within a hot barn. (Dehydration can cause several health risks including making the heart and lungs work harder and interfering with nerves and muscle movement.)
Keep their source of water cool by placing it within a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Water can become scorching hot much quicker than most people realize and should be checked often to insure they are able to drink the water without harming themselves. Placing ice within their water can help keep it cool and cool off your pet as well!
**Remember that they will be drinking a lot more water than they did during the cooler months and their water should be refilled as often as possible to keep them hydrated specially during the hottest days!**
Shade Is Your Friend!
If your pet is going to be outside for any length of time during the day make sure they always have access to shade! The sun beating down upon our pets can lead to severe heatstroke but can also cause other health issues such as dehydration or serious sunburn. All of which can have lasting or serious effects on our pet’s overall health long term.
**Remember to never leave your pet tied up outside during the hotter months without constant access to water and proper supervision! If it is too hot outside for you, it is too hot for them too! (Also refrain from muzzling your dog as they need to pant in order to cool down their bodies!)**
Ride/Walk During The Morning Or Night!
Try and limit the amount of time spent working or walking your pets during the hottest parts of the day. Try sticking to the cooler times in the morning or early evening, this way you can still get your workout in without risking heat stress or exhaustion!
After a good ride or walk, make sure to cool them down properly and encourage them to drink water to maintain their good health throughout the entirety of the summer months. Try hosing them off or getting them to a shaded area while watching them for any signs of discomfort that could be the early signs of dehydration or heat stroke.
Turning your horse out at night might also help keep them cool! The night will offer them more relief from the sun while also keeping the risk of humidity and heat affecting their breathing low.
**Remember to check the pavement before taking your dog out! If you cannot hold your hand onto the ground without causing yourself discomfort or pain, then it is not the right time to take them out without proper safeguards, such as pup shoes or socks, in place!**
Know The Signs Of Heat Stroke!
Heat stress and dehydration can lead to heat stroke or even death for our furry friends! Knowing what to look out for can help you, help them stay cool and comfortable through any amount of heat this summer!
-Excessive Panting/ Heavy Breathing
-Bright Red Tongue or Gums
-Wrinkled Eyelids Or Dull And Glazed Eyes
-Increased Heart Rate
-Tiredness Or Sluggishness
-Skin Tent Lasting Several Seconds After Pinching The Skin Of The Neck Or Shoulders
-Reduced Feed Intake
-Unsteadiness Or Collapse
**You know your pet best! If they are acting in any way that may cause you concern, even if it does not come from this list, immediately contact your trusted veterinarian!**
Summer is bursting with tons of opportunities for fun and adventure and if we keep our furry friends summer needs in mind, we can all have a healthy and happy summer together! 😉