Hot Weather Tips for Your Pets

There are certain injuries that we see every year more frequently during the warm weather.  With soaring temperatures and sunny skies it is very important to protect your pet from the heat and sun, as well as from outdoor hazards that they could be exposed to this time of year.

  • Sun exposure – Pets with light coats and light skin can become sunburned.  As in people, chronic exposure to sun can lead to skin cancer in dogs and cats, especially squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Watch out for the heat!  – Provide shade and water for your pet while he/she is outside, and plenty of water inside as well.  Never leave your pet in the car, even with the windows rolled down, for anyperiod of time on a hot humid summer day.
    • Symptoms of dehydration and overheating include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, increased heart rate, weakness, disorientation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, seizures and collapse.  If you see your pet exhibiting any of these symptoms please take him/her to a veterinarian ASAP – time is of the essence!
    • Keep your pet off of hot asphalt as they can become quickly overheated with their bodies so close to the ground and they can burn their paws as well.
  • Water Safety – Not all pets can swim well, so make sure they are supervised around water.
  • High Rise Syndrome – like children, pets can fall out of windows when the screen isn’t secured, or isn’t present.
  • Not all chemicals are created equal
    • Topical insecticides for dogs can cause severe illness in cats, so make sure you talk to your veterinarian about which product is appropriate for who!
    • Open garage doors allow pets to be exposed to all kinds of toxicities – antifreeze, rat poison, snail bait, and lawn fertilizer to name a few.
  • Picnic time of year – Many human foods and drinks are toxic to pets.  Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and any products sweetened with xylitol (found in sugar free gum and candy so  watch those purses!) can be fatal to pets.
  • Fireworks – Fireworks are best enjoyed with pets secured safely indoors.  Besides the anxiety they can cause, they are also dangerous due to the risk of burning or injuring your pet.  Lastly, there are many potentially harmful substances in fireworks, such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals that could be toxic to your pet.

Keeping your pets healthy will add to a wonderful summer for everyone!