Most dogs love spending the summer days by taking walks in the sun, playing at the park, or fetching frisbees in the backyard. The exercise and fun in the sun can be beneficial to the dog’s health; however, it can also dehydrate them or cause them to suffer from a heat stroke. If not treated properly, a heat stroke and dehydration can be fatal to a dog. Taking simple precautions and being aware of risks can prevent a dog from suffering. Precautionary steps to take to protect an animal’s health in the summer heat include visiting the veterinarian, keeping the dog in the shade as much as possible, and knowing the warning signs of overexposure to heat.
Visit the Veterinarian
Veterinarians strive to protect and prevent animals from suffering. This suffering includes any illness that comes during the hot summer months. Be sure to visit the veterinarian during the spring or early summer to prepare for the heat of the summer. Dogs should be tested for heat-worm, since the disease is more prone in the summer. Ticks and fleas are also more common in the summer; talk to the veterinarian about safe flea and tick control programs for a dog. Veterinarians can give advice on how to prevent sunburn and skin diseases for a pet. They can also recommend medications and treatments to control heat damage to the dog. Veterinarians are valuable resources to help keep an animal safe from heat exposure and any illness that comes with the summer months.
Dogs are known to dehydrate quickly. By taking a break in the shade, dogs can cool off and stay out of the sun. If it is extremely hot outside, be sure to keep the pets indoors. A shady area gives dogs the benefits of exercise and outside air. Always have fresh, clean water available for the pet to cool off.
Never leave an animal alone in a parked vehicle. The intense heat and lack of air circulation can burn the dog out. Even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can quickly become a furnace and cause a heat stroke to the animal. Shade and breaks for cooling off can save the life of an animal during the heat of the summer.
Know the Warning Signs
There are many warning signs to be alert for in order to prevent an animal from overheating during the summer. If an animal is experiencing excessive panting or difficulty breathing, seek help immediately. Other symptoms of heat exhaustion in an animal include: increased heart rate, drooling, elevated body temperature, mild weakness, stupor, collapsing, seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. By carefully observing your dog for these warning signs, you may be able to save your dog’s life by preventing them from becoming dehydrated during the extreme heat of the summer.
Hot asphalt and pavement can also burn a dog; be sure to keep them from spending excessive time on roads and parking lots. Other dangers include toxic chemicals at a backyard barbeque, exposure to fireworks at a Fourth of July celebration, and lawn care treatment chemicals. Always keep a close eye on pets and what they are getting into, especially during the summer months.
Dogs are naturally born to enjoy the outdoors and run freely. In order to allow a dog to enjoy the summer months outdoors, take proper precautions to benefit their health and well-being.
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