Summer Concerns

Hot Weather Tips

We all enjoy spending the sunny days of Summer with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke call us immediately.

These simple precautions may help protect your pet from overheating:

  • Made in the Shade: Pets become dehydrated very quickly in the heat, so provide your pets plenty of fresh water to ensure they stay hydrated. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
  • Know the Warning Signs Overheating of pets may include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing increased heart and respiratory rate drooling, mild weakness, stupor, collapse seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees 
  • Pets with flat faces  Smushed face pets such as Pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats), are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 
  • How to help your pet if you suspect heatstroke Move your pet to a shaded area or air conditioned area, Use ice packs to help cool your pet and place the packs on your pet's head, neck, and chest. You could also run cool (not cold) water over them. Giving them water and or ice cubes may also be helpful. Call your veterinarian. 
Make a Safe Splash Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Parking Never leave your pets alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become too hot (even with the windows open) and can result in fatal heat stroke. 

Screen Test Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured to prevent pets from deciding to venture outside unexpectedly.

Summer Style Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. 

As far as skin care, be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on pets. 

On the Road When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and
sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks to a minimum during these times. 

Avoid Toxic Plants and Chemicals Commonly used rodenticides (mouse and rat baits) and lawn/ garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, avoid areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well. This is also the time of year that we are spending more time in our gardens where many poisonous plants may be present. Call us if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance. 

Summer BBQ Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be unhealthy for your pets. Alcoholic drinks may be poisonous and many human snacks can cause belly upset or worse! Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol. 
Fireworks - Fun For Us, Not For Your Pet Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Besides the potential of burns, many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals. We have a medication that may be prescribed if your pet cannot avoid fireworks and gets extremely anxious and fearful.
176 River Road Andover, MA 01810
www.riverroadveterinaryhospital.com


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