By Karen Thomas for Paradise Pets Magazine
We all enjoy the fun of summer activities - swimming, going to the beach, vacations and
holiday celebrations. But our very sensitive four-legged companions may feel a little
different. When the temperature rises we need to be extra vigilant of the well-being of
our babies in fur coats. Living in the Florida Keys the temperature and humidity soar
during the summer creating a very oppressive heat which can affect all of us.
Here are just a few safety tips for keeping our loved ones safe:
Every year hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion from being left in parked cars. It
is never a good idea to leave your pet in a parked car with the windows cracked, ever.
Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness
and even death, even on a day that doesn't seem hot to you. And cracking the windows
makes no difference. The data below was shared by the American Veterinary Medical
Association on how quickly temperatures rise.
“The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20
minutes, it can rise almost 30º F...and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60
minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the
outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that's 110 degrees inside your vehicle!”
Safe Travel for Pets
Let’s also not forget the severe dangers of driving with your dog in the bed of a pickup
truck. Not only are they exposed to airborne hazards and risk being burned on the hot
metal of the bed itself, but dogs could also fall or jump off the truck and be injured or
killed on impact. Using a tether in the truck bed is not a good idea either as the tether
could tangle, injure, or even choke your dog. If you must transport your dog in the bed
of a pickup truck, use a secured, appropriately sized and ventilated dog kennel.
The safest plan is to leave your pets at home when you can. They will be safe, grateful
and happily waiting for your return.
Exercise and Hydration
It’s very important to modify your pet’s excise during the summer months. Exercising for shorter periods in the cooler hours of the morning or evening are best once the
pavements and streets have cooled. Paw pads can burn easily on hot pavements,
decks, sand or asphalt. If you’re unsure of the temperature test it by taking your shoes
off and standing on the surface for a few minutes. Often our pets are so eager to
please us that they won’t complain when their paws are burning.
If your dog will be spending time outdoors, make sure they have access to plenty of
shade and fresh water. Wading pools (out of direct sunlight) and sprinkler hoses can
help with cooling and can be lots of fun for them too.
Remember too that older, short-muzzled, overweight dogs, dogs with chronic health
issues and puppies are more likely to overheat in hot weather. Animals with flat faces,
like Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since
they cannot pant as effectively. These pets should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms
as much as possible.
The same rules apply to beach outings -lots of shade and lots of water. I always take
plenty of extra water and a bucket in case it gets spilled or if there are other dogs in
need of it. Be mindful of the hot sand. If you can’t walk on it barefoot you can be
sure it’s uncomfortable for your pup.
Warning Signs of Overheating in Pets
If your pet is suffering from any of the above symptoms you should take immediate
action and move him to a cool area, preferably with air conditioning. At a minimum
move him to a shady spot. Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness
veterinarian who writes for HealthyPets.Mercola.com. recommends taking his
temperature if possible.
“If it is 104 degrees or lower begin cooling your dog down by soaking his body with cool
water – cool, but not cold. Use a hose, wet towels or any other source of cool water that
is available. Concentrate the cooling water on his head, neck and in the areas
underneath the front and back legs. Carefully cool the tongue if possible, but don't let
water run into the throat as it could get into the lungs. Never put water in the mouth of a dog that can't swallow on his own. Put a fan on him if possible – it will speed up the
cooling process. After a few minutes, re-check his temperature. If it's at or below 104ºF,
stop the cooling process. Further cooling could lead to blood clotting or a too-low body
temperature. Get the dog to a veterinary clinic right away, even if he seems to be
Fireworks and Storms
Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be
terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous. On the Fourth of July so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters
around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.
Be mindful of the fact that our pets are very sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and
strong smells. So on the Fourth of July (and the days around it when people are likely
to set off fireworks), it's best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with relaxing
music playing or TV turned on to hide jarring noises. I am a big fan of the
“Thundershirt” not only during thunderstorms but anytime there is loud noise or
vibration. The soft pressure on the animal’s torso exerted from the shirt has a calming
effect. I usually spray my calming blend “Serenity” on the shirt as well. I love to diffuse
calming essential oils (like lavender) regularly in our ‘healing room’ where there are
crates set up to help create a peaceful safe space in the house. So during times of loud
noises or vibrations there is a ‘safe place’ in the house for our dogs to retreat to.
The summer months can be fun and full of wonderful activities. Just always remember
to pay extra attention to the special needs of our loving animal companions. They
deserve to have an awesome and stress free summer too!
Sources: American Veterinarian Medical Association: 1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, integrative wellness veterinarian. HealthyPets.Mercola.com.
About the author: Karen Thomas, R.N., is a Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) Practitioner in the Florida Keys. Karen can be contacted through her website www.pawsitivetouch.org or email her directly at karen [at] pawsitivetouch.org
Warm weather calls for outdoor activities with your pup such as hiking, traveling and spending time in the park. While spending quality time with your canine companion is essential, making sure your furry friend is healthy and clean inside and out is also a must.
"Warm weather means more outside play time, and while that can be great for increased exercise, it’s also important to be sure you’re keeping your pet healthy, starting with proper hygiene,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and Mars Petcare spokesperson. “Maintaining your dog’s hygiene, including cleaning his ears, bathing him and cleaning his teeth, is a critical component of helping him live a healthy lifestyle – from head to paws.”
These five tips can help keep your pup cuddle-worthy throughout the hottest time of the year.
Bond Over Bath Time
Sit, Stay, Hydrate
Freshen Up Snuggle Time
Make Nap Time Cozy and Clean
Keep Clean on the Road
“Oral care treats such as Greenies Dental Treats or Pedigree Dentastix Treats not only help freshen breath, but they also help clean your dog’s teeth and gums,” Ward said. “They’re great to have on hand whenever traveling with your pets.”
Find more information and tips for your pets oral care needs at greenies.com.
Photos courtesy of Fotolia.Sources: Family Features and Mars Petcare
It’s a warm summer day — the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the scent of blooming flowers fills the air. As a pet owner, you’re probably planning to take your dog on a walk, maybe even several. Meanwhile, your cat has found that sunny space underneath the windowsill.
If so, then you already know how much cats and dogs enjoy basking in the sun, but just like people, over-exposure to heat can cause our furry friends to become varied versions of themselves. And too often signs of dehydration, which frequently appear in the form of lethargy, dry mouth and loss of appetite, are confused with run-of-the-mill exhaustion.
Considering all the things we do know about our pets, it’s hard to believe that we wouldn’t recognize the symptoms that accompany something as serious as dehydration. But the truth is that unless you know which indicators to look for, it can be easy to misdiagnose. That’s why the experts at PetSafe have compiled a list of tips and tricks for making sure your pet is experiencing healthy hydration all year long.
Keeping them hydrated
Water is without a doubt the single most important resource you can provide your animal, especially during hot summer months. Whether outside or inside, dogs and cats should consume around one ounce of water per pound each day. In other words, if you have a 20-pound terrier or a 20-pound tomcat, they should have access to at least 20 ounces of cool, clean drinking water every day.
It’s also important to remember that liquid can evaporate quickly in high temperatures, so if your pet’s water source is outside it’s best to check on the amount of available water several times throughout the day or consider purchasing an auto-fill watering bowl like the Drinkwell(R) Everflow Indoor/Outdoor Fountain by PetSafe.
How do I detect dehydration in my pet?
The observable signs of dehydration will frequently include one of more of the following symptoms:
Treatment and prevention
If your dog or cat exhibits any of these behaviors or symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary attention where they will likely monitor the body temperature of your pet.
To prevent dehydration, pet parents should consider taking active measures to encourage pets to drink more water. Products like PetSafe Brand Pet Fountains are designed to continually circulate and filter water. This not only provides dogs and cats with a steady source of fresh water, but relieves owners of the constant hassle of refilling the bowl. Plus, the sound of flowing water tends to trigger an animal’s desire to drink more.
With proper care and precaution, your pet can enjoy every season — even summer — while staying happy, healthy and hydrated. Visit PetSafe.com to find more great tips, products and articles on pet care.
(Family Features) Summer is officially here and while it may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. By keeping your cat healthy, hydrated and active, your family will be able to enjoy more time together and get the most out of the season.
“For both people and cats, hydration, proper nutrition and overall healthy habits are imperative to fully enjoying the summer months,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and IAMS Cat spokesperson. “To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out and much of that stems from what they eat. It’s important to look for a premium cat food that includes high-quality protein to help your cat maintain strong, lean muscles and incorporate healthy vitality.”
These tips from Ward can help keep your cat active, healthy and safe during the summer months. For more information on establishing healthy habits for your furry friend, visit IAMS.com/visibledifference.
Focus on food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Ward recommends IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84 percent animal protein – more than the leading dry cat brand*. The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps maintain strong muscles and keep cats active.
Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Keep hydrated – Cats need to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dishes are always full and place a few dishes throughout the house. If there are certain rooms your cat is drawn to or if the family is spending quality time in a different area, have water readily available so pets can easily quench their thirst and avoid dehydration.
Photo courtesy of Grace Atwood of The Stripe
Prioritize playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, cats need exercise, too. Playing a cat and mouse game with your furry friend is one way to give him or her necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience. Toys that can encourage cats to get off the couch are a great way to get engaged in a little aerobic activity.
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Eliminate clutter – Cats are curious by nature and it’s no secret that they tend to explore even the highest or smallest nooks in the house. It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on your cat at all times, so it’s important to create a safe environment at home. Tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.
*Based on Nielsen sales data and in-market packaging as of March 11, 2017. Comparison does not include specialty products.SOURCE:
Paradise Pets Magazine