With the very mild winter like we had in the Mid-Atlantic this season usually comes a ferocious summer. Heat often exceeds 95+ and little or no rain to bring any comfort to humans or animals alike. While we are somewhat able to make relief for ourselves, our pets don’t always have the luxury to reach for a cold drink or even come close to a fan.
My 6 year old border collie, Roxy, is the type of dog that really doesn’t distinguish between hot or cold weather. Her main objective is to run at all cost whether it’s after a tennis ball or our squirrel looking for leftovers from last winter. This can be very dangerous for all breeds but especially the herding breeds.
Summer is particularly hard because she will run until she would be able to just barely crawl. So please remember to do these simple but life saving steps to keep your four legged family member comfortable and safe this coming season.
- Plan your outings for early morning or evening
- Limit your exercise sessions to 15 or 20 minutes
- Always have water in some form either bottled or nearby hose available
- Treat your dog to ice cubes-they love to chew on them
- If you happen to have a bred that has an under-coat, try using a shedding comb or brush to remove as much of the under-coat as possible. Believe me, it will grow back before the fall.
- Animals can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke just like humans so look for signs of lethargic behavior such as sleepy and non-responsive when called.
- For outside pets, make sure they always have clean water by changing it several times during the day. During the night, mosquitoes can lay eggs in standing water.
- Have some kind of shade relief for your outside pets either a tarp or a dog house. If at all possible find an inside place for your pet to come in and cool off when temperatures are extreme.
- In a small container, fill 3/4 full of water and freeze. Pop out the block of ice and put in the water bowl with a little water. This way, while you are away, your pet will have water available for longer periods of time.
Think about ways to keep your pet comfortable as possible during the upcoming summer season.
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