Picnics, swimming parties and family vacations are all synonymous with summer time. While we are out having fun in the sun we need to keep our pets in mind as they look to us for all of their daily needs. As the hot sun beats down and temperatures ramp up, remember the impact this can have on your companion animals. The mid-day walk that worked so well during the cooler months should be put on hold during summer.
- Walks - Try walking your four-legged family members in the early morning and evening hours when the sun’s heat is less intense. Remember, the concrete, pavement and sand absorbs heat throughout the day so try to avoid these surfaces when possible, or use doggie booties to protect their paws.
- Sunburns – Even furry animals can get sunburns – especially dogs that have white fur and pink noses – so be sure you are mindful of how much direct sun exposure your furry ones get especially white coated animals as they are most vulnerable. Non-toxic waterproof sunblock in the highest SPF can actually be safe and useful for your pets!
- Small Animal Habitats - Keep a watchful eye on small animal habitats during the summer. Habitats located close to the doors tend to get warm the fastest.
- Drinking Water - Ensure all your animals have access to fresh cool water at all times. Bring outdoor pets inside during the heat of the day, or for the entire season if possible.
- Swimming - Swimming is great way to cool off and dogs especially seem to love this activity. Take the extra precaution to ensure their ears are cleared of excess water. Dog’s ears are shaped so that water can become trapped, which creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause painful ear infections. Your vet can offer ear cleaning solutions that help dry the ears after swimming. You may also find that your furry companions will enjoy a soothing bath with an oatmeal based shampoo/conditioner to remove the chlorine/salt/lake water. Just ensure your pet’s flea and tick protection is re-applied as needed.
Now go out and enjoy the sun!