The hottest days of summer are bearing down upon us, and on our pets! Keep your dogs and cats safe by following these guidelines from your Rapid City veterinary professional.
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
Of course, the number one rule for keeping your beloved pet safe when it’s hot out is to keep them well-hydrated. This applies whether your pet is spending time outdoors or inside. Offer a dish of cool, fresh water at all times, and check it periodically to see if it needs refreshed.
Offer Shady Spots
When your pet is spending time in the backyard, make sure there is at least one shaded area for her to cool off under. If there aren’t adequate shade trees or a deck that offers shade, try making your own shade by setting up a blanket, tent, sheet, or other structure that can cast a shadow.
It’s hottest in the middle of the day, so it may be easiest to bring your pet indoors in the air conditioning during those times. Try taking her out for exercise and playtime in the earlier morning or late evening hours, when the sun isn’t directly overhead.
Don’t forget that blacktop can heat up to extreme temperatures when the summer sun beats down on it all day. We are protected by our shoes, but a pet’s paw pads can be burned and blistered all too easily. Avoid this by staying away from asphalt whenever possible; choose to walk your pet on grass or cooler concrete instead. If you have to cross over asphalt with your pet, do so quickly and don’t linger.
The hot weather may drive you and your dog to take a swim, but remember that not all dogs are great swimmers! Many small, short-legged breeds are not good swimmers and won’t enjoy a dip in the pool at all.
Check with your Rapid City veterinarian to see if your particular dog would like swimming, and ask about other hot-weather safety tips for pets of all breeds.