Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog
Oh, the sunshine and beauty of summer! We know our clients and their pets enjoy summer just as much as we do. From flip-flops to swimming pools, there are so many ways to celebrate the sunshine and great weather in Shoreview and the surrounding areas. If you’re planning on bringing your dog along for an adventure or your cat wants to help you spot caterpillars in the garden, here are our top five tips to help your pets beat the heat and stay safe and healthy.
1. Bring a Baby Pool and Be Shady
Whether you’re enjoying your own backyard or are planning a trip to the lake, be sure your dog can cool off in clean, cool water. If your furry best friend loves to splash in puddles, they will have the time of their life in their own personal baby pool, and you’ll love that they are keeping their core temperature down. Water toys amplify the fun and encourage dogs to jump in.
What about your favorite feline? Unless your cat is one of the few that likes to get wet, bathe them in shade. Create a respite from the sun in your backyard with a beach umbrella or canopy so your cat or dog can escape ultraviolet rays and heat.
2. No, Fido, We Said “Hydrate” not “Hydrant”
When it comes to a healthy pet, H2O is the way to go. Drinking plenty of water helps your pet regulate their body temperature from the inside out. Your pet should be drinking about one ounce of water per pound of weight. That’s a lot of water for the Great Danes out there!
Wherever your summer plans take you, be sure your pet has access to fresh water. To encourage hydration, put extra water bowls around the house and toss in a few ice cubes.
If you’re going out on the trail, bring a travel bowl and a bottle of water for your four-legged hiking partner. Regular refreshment breaks will discourage them from drinking from puddles and unknown water sources, which can contain bacteria, viruses, and blue-green algae.
Beat the Heatstroke
Many of us embrace the summer heat since our winters can be so rough. But soaring temperatures can be even tougher on pets. What makes heat so dangerous for cats and dogs? Our furry friends are highly susceptible to heatstroke. Unlike humans, they can’t sweat, and they can’t pour themselves a refreshing glass of water when they get hot
Heatstroke happens when a pet’s temperature gets too high and their body cannot bring it back down to a safe level. This can result in organ failure, stroke, coma, and even death.
If your pet has any of these symptoms, they may be headed towards heatstroke:
- Rapid and excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red tongue and gums
- Increased pulse
- Trouble breathing
- Shaking muscles and difficulty walking
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If you think your pet is overheating, provide them with a cool drink, hose them down with room temperature water, give us a call, and immediately head our way.
We know you’ve heard this before, but it’s worth saying again: never leave your pet in the car. Even with the windows cracked, cars heat up fast. If you’re planning a summer road trip, you may want to reconsider bringing your pet along. Instead, check your dog or cat into our convenient and reliable boarding facility. They will have their own vacation while you’re away, and you won’t have to worry about their safety.
4. Don’t Let Your Pet Get Burned by the Sun
Did you know that pets get sunburned too? Cats and dogs are both susceptible to sunburn. If you’re bringing your dog aboard the boat for the day or planning a sunny picnic in the backyard with your cat, put pet-friendly sunblock on their nose, ears, and back.
5. Pause for Paw Safety
Asphalt, concrete, sand, and other walking surfaces can go from hot to scorching in minutes. Your pet’s sensitive paws are vulnerable to damage from these hot surfaces. To avoid burns, don’t let your cat out during the hottest times of the day and check the temperature of the street or sidewalk before allowing your dog to walk on it.
To see if a surface is too hot for your dog’s paw pads, place your palm flat on the ground. If you struggle to hold it there for ten seconds, it’s too hot for your dog or cat to walk over.
If you’re out with your dog and you notice them trying to turn back home, limping, or shifting from one foot to another, the ground may be too hot for them. Immediately bring them to a shaded location or patch of grass to check their paws for blisters and redness. If you see signs of burns, call a family member or friend to pick you up and contact us right away.
We Hope Your Summer is Overflowing with Fun
Staying safe this summer is all about preparation and education. We hope you’ll spread the love by sharing this information with your friends and family.
If you’re ready to book your pet’s summer boarding, need a refill on your pet’s prescriptions, or you have questions about your pet’s health, give us a call.
Image credit: Artem Beliaikin|Pexels