Summer Pet Tips from Dr. Casey Magargle
Everyone is getting ready for summer – this includes our favorite furry friends. Summer in Arizona is unlike anyplace in the country! We have extremes of heat, humidity and even winds (look at the dust storms!). Here are a few AZ tips to keep your pets cool:
1. Made in the Shade
All pets, if staying outdoors, need access to shade and tons of cool and clean water. Without these two necessities, dehydration can set in fast!
2. Never Leave a Pet in the Car in the Summer
Outdoor temperatures in the 90’s can lead to temperatures well above 110 degrees in a closed car. Dogs, cats or children cannot begin to cool themselves well enough to tolerate this. Leave pets at home during the summer.
3. Exercise in the Early Morning or Late Evening
Dogs and cats cannot sweat like people – they only a have a few sweat glands located between their toes! This means that they are not able to cool down like you or me! Keep all activity to temperatures less than 90 degrees and out of direct sunlight.
4. Protect those Paws
Paw pads are tough, but the AZ heat is even tougher. Most people don’t walk their dogs in the middle of the day, but watch your pet around the pool. Playing with kiddos may be tons of fun, but burnt pads will put your pooch on the sidelines – as they take days and even weeks to heal! Don’t let them overdo it!
5. Cool Cuts
Most dogs do change from a winter to a summer coat, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. Some of our long-haired friends may feel better with a short summer cut. Make sure and have a professional grooming and watch out for too much sun! There are sunscreens that are formulated for pets. These are useful for dogs with thin hair coats, fair complexions or a fresh haircut.
6. Summertime Diet
If pets are laying low to avoid overheating, then they are usually burning fewer calories. In the summer, it may be a good idea to cut back on calories too. Monitor your pet’s weight closely (maybe once a month) to avoid gaining when activity levels are lower.
7. Summer Storms
Extreme weather makes everyone nervous, including our pets. Make sure that your pets have access to shelter (indoors) during any thunderstorms or dust storms. These can be dangerous to any species!
8. Have a Spring Checkup
It is always a good idea to have your pet examined by a veterinarian yearly or twice a year once they are 7+ years of age. Spring is a nice time to make sure that they are in tip-top shape, pick up heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention and make sure vaccinations are up to date!