Summer’s here! Keep your Beaufort pets comfy, cool and safe as our weather heats up.
Warm weather can be dangerous for our lowcountry pets; it’s hard for them to keep cool in the scorching sun because animals don’t sweat like people do. Your hot dogs cool themselves through panting, but did you know that they sweat through their paws too?
And while cats tend tolerate the heat a little better than dogs, and even prefer it (we’ve all seen cats stretched out on sunny windowsills), that doesn’t mean that you should forget about your cat this summer!
1. Never, ever, EVER leave your pet in a hot car. It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES –for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! Your best bet is to leave your pet home on warm days.
2. Keep the paws in mind. When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal, (think truck bed), can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating.
3. Water and shade. Do your best to keep your furry friend cool and comfortable when you’re out and about. If you and your pet are out in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure there’s plenty of water available to avoid dehydration. Also, get your pet into the shade as much as possible.
4. Haircuts. If you have a pet with a thick coat, consider a haircut! One inch is a good length to avoid sunburn (yes, pets can get sunburns too!) and also keep your pet cool.
5. This one’s for the cats: keep your windows screened! We all know cats love windowsills. You may want your house to be ventilated, but you definitely do not want your kitty to fall out!
6. Stay safe at barbeques. Backyard barbeques are a lot of fun, but the food and drinks offered can be bad for pets. Keep your pets away from alcohol and foods like grapes, onions, and chocolate.
7. Fireworks aren’t fun for everyone. Keep your pet away; the dangers are obvious – pets are at risk for fatal injuries and painful burns if they are allowed to run around freely when fireworks are being used. Some fireworks also contain chemicals toxic to pets like potassium nitrate and arsenic. Not to mention, the loud noises can be frightening and disturbing to pets (remember, their hearing is many times better than ours).