How to Keep Your Pets Safe When It’s Hot

The hottest days of summer are ahead—take heed of these safety tips from a West Greenwich veterinarian to keep your pet safe and sound this season.

Provide Water and Shade

Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water for your pet, even if he’s staying indoors. Hydration is key in the warmer months, so check the water dish often to see if it needs refilled. If your pet does spend time outside, provide a shady spot for your pet to cool off under. You can try making one with a sheet or blanket.

Watch for Overheating

The signs of overheating in pets include drooling, rapid panting, difficulty breathing, increased heartbeat, weakness, and collapse. Severe cases can exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, move your animal to a cooler area immediately and call your vet’s office for further instructions.

Update Preventatives

In the early summer or even spring, check to make sure your pet’s heartworm, tick, and flea preventatives are up to date. As the weather warms, the pests will be coming out and looking to latch onto your pet. Use preventative medications to avoid any bites or infections. Call your West Greenwich veterinarian to ask about the medications your pet needs.

Don’t Shave Pets

It might seem like a good idea to cut down your dog’s hair to provide some relief from the hot, sticky weather, but it’s one of the worst things you could do. Your dog’s coat provides protection from the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and overheating. You can trim longer hair on your dog or cat, but never shave it off or trim it too close to the skin. Also consider using pet-specific sunscreen to protect exposed areas on your pet.

Don’t Leave Pets in the Car

Even on relatively milder summer days, temperatures inside parked cars can skyrocket to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, spelling serious harm or even death to pets left inside. Never leave your pet in the car—either take him inside with you or leave him at home.

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