Vancouver has had some great weather early in summer which has allowed pet lovers to spend some time outdoors with their pets. But summer isn’t all fun and games. Heatwaves and prolonged dry spells can cause problems for both humans and pets alike.
You may think looking after your pets in hot weather comes down to common sense, but it never hurts to go back over the basics. So here’s a brief guide to keeping your pets cool, comfortable, and safe this summer.
Keeping Your Pet Cool During Summer
It’s incredibly important to make sure you’re prepared during hot weather. All pets must be kept in cool, shady areas. It is also ideal not to over exercise in weather that is above 30 degrees.
Remember, if you’re feeling hot, chances are your pets are too. Short-nosed or flat-faced dogs breeds like Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs are also more susceptible to heat stroke.
Keep Them Comfortable
If your pet seems to be in discomfort, try wetting their feet and misting water onto their face. This is an option for dogs, cats, ferrets, poultry and caged birds as many animals control their inner temperature through their feet. It’ s important not to saturate a bird’s feathers as this can cause them to go into shock.
Water and Shade
Offer your pet plenty of water and shade. Don’t leave your dog out in the open for too long and if you’re out on a walk, make sure you bring a drinking bottle and bowl. If you can add, bring some ice cubes to cool your pet down faster.
Trees are better than doghouses for shade. They let air flow through. Doghouses can trap the heat and make it worse. Think about a kiddie pool or a sprinkler to help your pal cool off in the yard.
Take a Swim
You can take your dog to a pet-friendly beach or put a blow-up pool in the shade in your backyard so your dog can wade in the water to keep cool. If your pet shares your backyard with children, remember to have all necessary precautions in place, including fencing to keep children safe. This is especially fun if your dog loves water and swimming.
Watch Where You Walk
Walking your dog when the ground is too hot can cause serious damage to their paws. Instead, walk your dog in the coolness of the early morning or evening. If you’re unsure if it’s cool enough, press your hand to the pavement and test the heat. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs paws.
Vancouver summers are famous for the sympathy of fire which brings thousands of people to English Bay to watch this fabulous display of light and sound. However, loud noises is one of the most prevalent phobias in animals, and result in tens of thousands of them demonstrating destructive behaviour, escaping from their properties and injuring themselves. Be sure to watch your pet and keep them comfortable. If possible try to soundproof your home by closing the windows and doors.
Pets and Cars
Never leave your dog in the car. No, not even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes. Even when it isn’t that hot outside, the temperature inside can soar. On a 30-degree day, it can reach 45 degrees within 10 minutes. And that’s with a window cracked. After 30 minutes, it could be up to 50 degrees. Leave your dog at home, or go places where he can come with you. In addition, you should also keep your house cool. Leave the air conditioner on and close the drapes. If you don’t have AC, open the windows and turn on a fan. You may want to see if a cooling vest or mat can help.
Little Ones Need Care Too
Small pets, such as rabbits and birds, are particularly susceptible to heat. Please bring these animals indoors during hot weather. If allowed free run in a laundry or bathroom, they will benefit from the cool tiles. If this is not possible, drape their cage with wet towels and provide a sturdy icepack or frozen water bottle for the animal to lean against so it can to regulate its own body temperature. Make sure the animals’ enclosures are out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun as the shade moves throughout the day.
Summer can mean lots of fun outside with your dog or other pet. But when the temps soar, take steps to protect them. Whether you take him for a walk down the street, a ride in the car, or just out in the yard to play, the heat can be hard on him.
If you’re ever unsure, give us a call for advice. You can contact us HERE. You should also keep shots up to date, especially in summer. The parvovirus spreads in hot weather and your pet probably spends more time outside, which means it’s more likely he could come in contact with a critter that has rabies. In addition, summer is high season for fleas, which spread many diseases, and mosquitoes, which carry heartworm. Get him on regular meds to prevent these pests.