The summer temps are peaking this month. We humans can make our own decisions about where we are and for how long, but our pets often depend on us to make these decisions. Help your pets avoid dangerous conditions and stay comfortable with these tips:
- NEVER leave your pet in the car, even for a short time. The interior car temperatures can rise dangerously hot very quickly, even with the windows cracked. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, including organ damage and even death. If you believe that your pet has been affected by the heat, please take them to the veterinarian immediately.
- When playing outside with your dog, have plenty of water and shade available, and be sure they can get indoors if it becomes too hot and humid.
- Walk your dog during the coolest part of the day to ensure you and your dog are comfortable.
- Beware of HOT surfaces outside! Sidewalks, asphalt and beach sand can get extremely hot and burn the pads of your dog’s paws. If you aren’t sure if it’s too hot, practice the five-second rule. Place the back of your hand on the asphalt — if you can’t hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet.
- During walks, watch for yards and grassy areas recently treated with chemicals (they often have flags to mark them), and avoid contact. If you are concerned your pet has come in contact with toxic chemicals, wipe down their paws when you get home and consult your veterinarian for further advice.
- At cookouts, some foods may be toxic for your pet. Bring dog food and treats for your pup to enjoy instead of food from the grill or table (visit here for a list of foods toxic to pets).
- If your dog likes to swim, make sure he or she is supervised at all times. If a pool is new to the dog, they may not know where to exit safely. Also, try to prevent your dog from drinking pool or lake water, as it could contain chemicals, bacteria, or parasites. Instead, offer fresh water in a bowl. After swimming, bathe your dog to wash off any potentially harmful substances.
- Be sure your dog is current on flea, tick and heartworm prevention. These treatments help your dog avoid contracting diseases such as Lyme or heartworm disease, as well as many others. Please talk to your veterinarian about which products are best for your pet.
- Make sure your dog is wearing a current ID tag. Now also is a good time to confirm that your pet’s microchip is up-to-date with your contact information. If your pet is not yet microchipped, we offer that service at MCHS. Please call us at 240-252-2555 for more information.
We hope you and your pets have a safe and fun summer!