San Antonio gets particularly hot weather in the summers, but that’s not news to you! What may be more interesting to learn is how this heat affects your pet. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like we do, so their capacity for heat is lower. While cats are typically indoors and can enjoy the AC just like you, your dog is a different matter. They require exercise, play time, and relieve themselves outside. For them, the heat is inescapable, but you can help them make it more bearable! Additionally, parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes (which carry heartworms) are more prevalent during these warmer months, too!
Consult the following list for tips on how to make this summer a great one for you and your pet!
Tips for Heat Safety
- NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. The temperature can rise rapidly, creating a dangerous, potentially fatal, environment for your pet.
- When the temperature reaches 75 or above, be sure to take extra caution with your pet if outdoors. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade where they can escape the summer sun.
- Take your walks a little earlier and later than usual. Mornings and late evenings are typically cooler and more pleasant.
- Keep them off hot asphalt as it can burn their paws, and the heat radiating from it can raise their body temperature too quickly, as well.
- Let them play around in a wading pool or sprinkler – even with the kids! This will keep them cool and give them some much needed exercise.
- Know the signs of heat-related illness, which often includes lethargy, weakness, disorientation, and even vomiting. Call us immediately if your pet experiences any of these symptoms.
Additionally, in our area, it’s important to be aware of the weather—and not just for heat. Tornadoes are a reality, so if a storm is coming, bring your dog inside as soon as possible, and keep them calm. Animals can often be more in tune with the weather than us, and an approaching storm may make them uneasy. A good idea to consider is making your pet familiar with your shelter or crawl space where you would seek refuge from a tornado. The more comfortable they are in the space beforehand, the more likely they’ll join you without fussing in the event of severe weather.
Making Parasite Prevention a Priority
Here in San Antonio, our veterinarians highly recommend year-long parasite prevention for your pet. Since the weather very rarely reaches freezing levels, parasites such as fleas and ticks can be a problem all year long, not just the summer. While mosquitoes are a slightly different matter, their hatching season is unpredictable and come early or late in the season. With consistent parasite prevention, your pet is protected from these nasty critters’ bites, and the diseases they carry, which include heartworm disease (mosquitoes), Bartonella (fleas), Lyme and Ehrlichiosis (ticks). Talk to your veterinarian today for advice on the best parasite preventative for your dog or cat.
Feel free to reach out and give our animal hospital a call if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s safety this summer (or anytime)!