Our pets, cats and dogs in particular, love summer as much as we do. When the warm weather hits, you can practically see the smiles on their faces as they stretch out in a warm patch of sun or roll in the fresh grass.
However, like humans, it is possible to get too much sun, or not enough hydration.
Keep your furry friends happy and safe by following a few tips:
- Keep them hydrated: Especially in the summer if your pet loves to run and play outside, give them lots of breaks in the shade and water. If they are left outside for any length of time, ensure they have access to shelter and water. Signs of dehydration include dry gums, loss of skin elasticity, excessive drooling. If you see these symptoms, contact your vet right away.
- Apply sunscreen: short-haired, light-skinned dogs and cats can get sunburn and even cancer. Sunscreen should be fragrance free, non-staining, and contain UVA and UVB barriers similar to sunscreens made for humans. There are sunscreens made specifically for pets.
- Be cautious where you walk: avoid hot pavement that can damage the pads of your pet’s feet. As well, some lawns or patches of grass may be sprayed with fertilizers and pesticides. Find a pet-friendly spot if you can.
- Keep them cool: on extra hot days, keep your pets indoors during the middle part of the day, 1-4 PM. Many dogs love to go for a swim or you can spray them with water. To keep your cats cool, lay a cool damp towel on them.
- Never, ever leave animals in a car: even with the windows partly down, even if you are planning to only be away for a few minutes.
For a special summer treat, certain to cool down a “hot” dog on a summer day, try this recipe:
- 1 cup peanut butter, unsalted and unsweetened
- Half a ripe banana, mashed
- Water as needed
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients
- Shape into balls, or fill in an ice cube tray and freeze
- Serve whenever you want to treat (and cool down) your dog – they‘ll love you for it!