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Hotter, more extreme temperatures during summer months call for taking special care of pets. As with any change of season, the summer brings new environmental dangers for animals. In addition to recommending an annual heartworm screening and checkup, Dessau Veterinary Clinic's Austin veterinarian discusses summer pet care with all pet owners to ensure pets stay safe, healthy, and well-hydrated during the warmer months. Take the following precautions to keep your pets safe during the summer:
Parasites - Our veterinarian recommends an annual heartworm screening, and during this appointment, it is also a good idea to talk to discuss a flea and tick preventative for your cat or dog. Parasites and the diseases they carry are prevalent in summer.
Hydration - Always have plenty of water available for your pet during hot days. This is especially important for pets living primarily outdoors. In addition to a water supply, make sure your pet has a shady refuge where he or she can escape the heat of the sun. On extremely hot days, keep pets inside.
Cars - Never leave pets unattended in parked cars. A car is like an oven, and can become fatally hot in just minutes. If you cannot take your pet inside with you, then leave him or her at home in a safe, cool environment.
Pavement - Some summer days, the pavement is hot enough to fry an egg. Be careful to only walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when the pavement is cool to avoid burning your puppy's paws.
Chemicals - During summer months, your neighbors might be spraying their lawns with fertilizer or around their property for pests. Be sure to keep pets away from areas where chemicals might be; these chemicals are harmful and poisonous to pets.
Grooming - During the hot days of summer, a nice hair cut might seem like the best way to cool your pet. While a trim will definitely help your pet cool off, too short a haircut can leave your animal at risk of sunburn. Always bring your pet in for a professional dog grooming or cat grooming appointment to ensure your pet does not get too close a shave. During a professional dog grooming or cat grooming appointment, our staff will check your animal for any unusual skin conditions as well.
Screens - Cats love to sit in open windows and doors, soaking up the sun through a screen. Some cats, however, become injured when they accidentally push screens out and fall through. Be sure your screens are securely fastened.
Heat exhaustion in pets can be fatal. Watch for excessive panting, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, weakness, collapse, drooling, seizures, fever, or vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet this summer, bring him to our Austin veterinarian immediately.
Visit the ASPCA for more information about summer pet safety.