10 simple precautions
Daily record-high temperatures are now occurring more often than ever. Summertime adventures and outdoor activities are extra fun, but pet hazards are just around the corner. To protect your pet from hot summer days, you can just take a few simple precautions:
- Make your early-summer visit to the vet. A simple check-up and appropriate antiparasitic medications may prove lifesaving. Always remember that cats are not small dogs, so dog intended tick and flea repellents may prove fatal to cats.
- Always make sure your four-legged companion has plenty of fresh cool water available. Be careful not to over-exercise them, especially during daytime.
- Certain breeds are more susceptible to get heatstroke. Dogs and cats with flat faces like bulldogs and Persian cats or with thick fur such as huskies may exhibit symptoms of overheating. Be aware and contact your vet immediately in case of excessive panting, difficulty in breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness or even bloody diarrhea and collapse. Make sure you brush or trim your pet’s fur regularly during summer. Shaving of the fur may predispose to sunburns. On the other hand, light colored animals and those with thin or no fur like Dogo-Argentinos or Sphynx cats respectively should benefit from products with sunscreen.
- Never leave your pet inside a parked car, even if the air condition is on. Overexcitement can easily case a heat stroke.
- When the temperature is high, do not take your pet on a walk, especially during the day, as the hot asphalt could burn their sensitive paws. Try walking them on the grass instead. The same applies for the hot sand of the beach.
- Never leave your pet unattended in the sea or pool. Even if a dog enjoys water, this doesn’t mean that he is a good swimmer. While on the beach, keep your pet away from fish hooks. They are easy to swallow while playing. In case of accidental ingestion, do not try to pull out fishing line that protrudes. Cut it out and call your vet. After your dog comes out of the water, always remember to rinse their fur with plenty of tap water. The salt of the sea or chemical disinfectants of the pool could cause itchiness, dermatitis etc.
- Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides like ant powder can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach.
- Be aware of awns and grass blades on the country side. They can get stuck inside the ears, nose or even prick the skin.
- Engine coolant is very attractive but highly toxic to cats.
- Finally, some summer plants like lilies, geranium and clematis can be toxic to your cat.