It is hard to believe it is summer already. This time of year is great for outdoor activities and doing tons of fun things with your companions. This month we will discuss ways to keep your companion happy and healthy over the summer season.
It is extremely important to remember to NEVER leave your companion in a hot car. All it takes is minutes for your furry friend to become overheated and develop heat stroke or suffocate. Signs of possible heat stroke include excessive panting, vomiting, bright red colored tongue, and fainting/collapse. Your parked car is like an oven, even with the windows cracked it will become extremely hot in a very short period of time. For example, on a 78-degree day, temperatures inside your car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and 160 degrees if you are parked in the sun. Your best bet is to leave your companion at home if you are planning on going anywhere which would require you leave your furry friend in your car. If you are going somewhere companion friendly, you still need to bring plenty of fresh water for the ride there and home. It is extremely important to ALWAYS have fresh water available for your furry friend.
During the hot summer months, keep your companions paws in mind as well. Surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and even decks will become very hot and can burn the pads of your companion’s paws. For example, if it is 77 degrees outside the temperature of concrete, asphalt, and deck surfaces in the sun may be 125 degrees. At 125 degrees skin destruction can happen in as little as 60 seconds. A good rule to follow to determine if a surface is too hot for your companion is to hold the back of your hand to the surface with firm pressure for 5 seconds. If you cannot hold your hand there with firm pressure for 5 seconds, the surface is too hot for your companion’s feet.
If your companion is going to be outside, they need to have an adequate shady area to escape the sun and heat, and always have plenty of fresh water. Certain brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds such as Pugs and Persian cats cannot pant as effectively as other breeds and can overheat very quickly. Our companions cannot sweat like we do as humans and use panting to regulate their body temperature. Cool, fresh water is needed at all times to replenish moisture lost from panting.
When you take your companion for walks this summer always ensure you have plenty of water for the excursion and know the signs your companion is too hot and ready to go home. Excessive panting and lethargy mean your furry friend is ready to call it a day. Even big dogs can overdo it on hot summer days and may refuse to continue walking. Be careful not to go farther than your companion can easily make it back, or you may end up carrying even your big dog back. If you do not have air conditioning in your home make sure your cat and dog have plenty of places they can get to within your house which are cool and shady so they can recover if they get too warm.
If you are concerned your companion is exhibiting signs of overheating or heatstroke, or if you have any questions about how to keep your companion happy and safe this summer call us at 719-481-3080.