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Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets

July 15, 2015

Summers here in Texas can get pretty sweltering—have you thought about your pet’s safety as the temperatures rise? Here, your San Antonio, TX veterinarian offers a few key tips to keep your furry friend safe this season.

Hydration and Shade

Deadly dehydration and heatstroke are two of the biggest hazards for pets this time of year. Avoid both by bringing your pet indoors regularly, allowing them to cool off before heading back outside. Indoors and out, make sure your pet has a bowl of cool, fresh water at all times, and remember to check it periodically for refilling. When your pet is outdoors, ensure that there is at least one shady spot to relax under.

Protect Against Sunburn

That’s right: pets can get sunburnt, too. It’s especially likely on areas with minimal fur, like the ear edges or nose tip. Luckily, pet-formulated sunscreens are available to combat this problem and are especially useful if your pet spends longer periods outside. Pick up a canine- or feline-specific sunscreen at your vet’s office or a pet supply store.

Don’t Shave the Fur

Never shave a pet’s fur in an attempt to keep them cooler; you’re inviting painful sunburn and potentially deadly heatstroke. A pet’s layers of fur are necessary to regulate their body temperature and protect their skin, so you’re not doing them any favors by shaving it off. It’s acceptable to trim longer hairs slightly, but shaving is a big no-no.

Swimming Precautions

Dog owners often like to take their canine companions swimming in the hot summer months. This can be a lot of fun, but remember to practice basic safety measures. First, remember that not all dogs are strong swimmers; it’s essential that you stay with your dog at all times while in the water. Secondly, never let your dog drink the water, as chlorinated pool water or salty water in public lakes or ponds can prove dangerous. When you’re done swimming, remember to give your pooch’s coat a thorough rinse with fresh water.

Safety in the Car

Never leave pets in a car on a hot summer day. The temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket in a matter of minutes, leaving pets trapped in a virtual oven. Either bring pets indoors when you reach your destination, or leave them at home.

Your San Antonio, TX veterinary professional can offer more summertime safety tips. Call the clinic today!

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