When the weather gets hot, you can escape inside, fix yourself a cool drink or change your clothes. Your pet, though, doesn’t have as many options for staying cool. As your pet’s caretaker, make sure you’re doing everything you can to help him survive summer weather comfortably.
See the vet
To prepare for summer, make sure your apartment pet has its seasonal check-up. Warm weather is the worst time for fleas and ticks, so get your pet on an effective parasite control program. If your dog or cat isn’t on year-round heartworm medication, you should also have him tested.
Shade and water
If your pet spends the majority of her day outside in warm weather, provide her with shade and, if possible, an unlimited amount of water with an automatic dispenser. Also, be sure not to over-exercise your pet — consider cutting walks or runs a little shorter than you would in cooler weather.
Know heat stroke warning signs
If your pet does get over-heated, watch carefully to see if your pet is in danger. If he is panting or drooling excessively, has trouble breathing, or seems weak or lethargic, get him to a cool place right away. Flat-faced dogs and Persian cats are especially susceptible to overheating because it is harder for them to pant. These pets should always be kept in a cool environment. It’s also a good idea to give your pet a summer haircut to help her beat the heat.
Safe summer surroundings
In extreme temperatures, you need to be aware of what kind of environment your pet is in and for how long. Exposure to hot asphalt, for instance, should be kept at a minimum so as not to burn footpads. Likewise, don’t ever keep a pet waiting in a hot car, where temperatures can soar to deadly heights in minutes. And even though summer backyard parties seem a protected place for your pets, don’t leave them unattended around water, hot grilles or guests who enjoy feeding them unhealthy treats.
In the summer, vets see a large number of pets that have fallen from high-rise balconies or out of screenless windows. Be sure that as you spend time on your apartment porch or balcony, or leave windows open, that you take necessary precautions to keep your pet from falling off or out.
Summer weather offers a great time to enjoy life with your pet. Just remember that Kitty or Spot can’t ask for help — they rely on you to keep them healthy, cool and safe.