Now that summer is just around the corner, here are a few warm weather tips which will make a big difference in your pet’s life. Remember that the weather affects your pets just as it affects you.
HOT WEATHER TIPS:
- Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace on a hot day, and overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. Always carry a gallon of cold water for your pet.
- Don’t force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot weather. Exercise in the early morning or in the evening, and keep walks to a minimum.
- Never leave your dog standing on hot asphalt. His body can heat up quickly and his sensitive paw pads can burn.
- It’s smart to provide plenty of shade and a well-constructed dog house for animals staying outside. Bring your dog inside during the hottest part of the day and make sure she/he has plenty of cool water.
- Be extra sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call your veterinarian or the New Mexico Poison Control at 1 800-222-1222 if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned.
- Keep your pet well groomed to stave off summer skin problems. Cats should be brushed often.
- Bring your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring, or early summer, exam, including a test for heartworm, if your dog isn’t on a year-round preventative medication. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a safe pest-control program to prevent fleas and ticks.
- To prevent escape, or accidental falls, make sure all windows in your home are properly screened.