Hot Diggity Dog (and Cat): Summer Safety Tips

No doubt about it: summer in So Cal can be idyllic, but rising temperatures can pose danger to our furry families. Many animals—especially those that live outdoors—struggle to keep cool because they can’t process heat as effectively as we do. Hot temperatures also bring out the snakes, bugs, and merrymakers intent on setting off fireworks, all of which can wreak havoc on your pet’s physical and mental health.

Here are some tips for keeping your fur-covered friend safe as the mercury rises:

1. Make snake bites hiss-tory. Snakes can be found in cities, suburban parks, and riverside areas. Snake venom is extremely dangerous as it causes excessive swelling and death of the tissue surrounding the wound. To decrease the risk of your pet being bitten, it’s a good idea to stick to well-used trails, keep your dog leashed, and don’t hike alone. It’s also important not to let your dog sniff or step where you can’t see, such as around rocks, brushy areas, and downed logs. Bites should always be treated as soon as possible. If you suspect your pet is the victim of a snake bite, bring them in to see us immediately. Should the bite happen outside our regular business hours, take your pet to a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital without delay.

2. Keep it cool. Never leave your pet in the car on warm, or even sunny spring and summer daysEven with a window cracked on a 70o day, the interior of your car can reach 100o in as little as 20 minutes. Remember, too, that hot asphalt will scorch your pet’s paws. Before you head out for a walk, put your own palm on the pavement—if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pooch. And do not shave or trim your pet. A pet’s coat is an important part of her natural cooling system, as it protects the skin from the sun.

3. Know the signs of heatstroke. They include anxiousness, excessive panting and/or drooling, restlessness, unsteadiness, abnormal gum and tongue color, seizures, collapse, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, get in touch with us as soon as possible.

4. Prevent parasites all year round. Bugs like fleas, ticks, and worms can threaten not just your pet’s daily comfort but their health as well. Your pet’s best protection against potentially deadly parasites—including heartworm— is prevention in the form of topicals, chews, and shots. If you need to stock up on these products, give us a call.

5. Don’t forget the chips. We’re not referring to the potato variety—rather, we mean microchips. Microchips are statistically the best option out there to ensure that, if your pet ever gets lost or runs away, they’ll be returned to you, safe and sound. It’s particularly crucial that your pet be chipped prior to the Fourth of July when fireworks can send an animal companion into a frenzy and fire season when the chances of being separated from your best friend tend to tragically skyrocket. A microchip will give you peace of mind and your pet a ticket home.

Have questions about any of the above? Need to stock up on parasite prevention or schedule a microchip appointment? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (858) 451-0990 or request a visit here.