As summer arrives in Southern Ontario, pet owners and their pets are getting out and about and enjoying the beautiful weather. Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk or heading on a vacation with your pet in tow, here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your pet safe this season.
1. Check for dehydration & heat stroke
In the hot weather, it’s essential to make sure your pet is hydrated. But obviously, your pet can’t tell you when they’re thirsty. To check for dehydration, lift up the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. If it returns to normal when you let go, they are hydrated. If it remains indented, they’re dehydrated.
If your pet has heat stroke, they’re likely to exhibit the following symptoms:
- Bloody diarrhea or vomit
- Increased heart rate
- Increased salivation and excessive panting
- Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
Take your pet out of the sun immediately if they exhibit signs of heat stroke.
2. Keep a first aid kit at hand
Just as most parents have a first aid kit for their children, pet parents should have a first aid kit prepared for their pets. This is especially important for long trips or days out. Your first aid kit should include:
- Gauze pads and adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes or spray
- Old towels or a blanket
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide (to reduce vomiting if your pet has been poisoned)
- Benadryl for allergic reactions
In addition to a first aid kit, if you’re going on a long car ride, make sure you have all of your pet’s medications and enough food and water for the journey.
3. Get your pet microchipped
Now that your pet is likely to be outside more often in the summer months and you may be traveling with them, it’s a good idea to get your pet microchipped. While some pet owners are put off by the idea of microchipping, it’s a painless, inexpensive and long-lasting way to make sure you never lose your pet. Learn more about the benefits of microchipping here.
4. Never leave pets in a hot car
By now, we’ve all heard the horror stories of well-intentioned pet owners leaving their pets in a hot car. While you may think it’s okay to leave your pet for a couple of minutes while you run into the store, it doesn’t take long for the temperatures inside the car to rise. On an average summer day, the inside of your car could reach up to 35 degrees Celsius within ten minutes. Within half an hour, it could reach over 50 degrees Celsius.