How to Help Your Pets Beat the Heat This Summer

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

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2017 Michigan Summer Pet Sitter

It’s officially summer now!  That means picnics in the park, trips to the beach and yes that dreaded summer heat. While most of us are well aware of how to protect ourselves from the sun and heat, we can sometimes overlook the steps we need to take to protect our furry friends. Here are a few tips to help your pets beat the summer heat.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Did you know that on an 85°F day, even if you have the windows rolled down, within 10 minutes the temperature inside your car can reach 102°F? After 30 minutes, it can go up to a scorching 120°F! That’s about the same temperature as a traditional sauna. If you expose your pet to this kind of heat for too long, it can lead to irreversible organ damage. In worst cases, it can also possibly result in death. Don’t risk it.

Limit your pets’ exercise during the hottest part of the day

The sun is at its hottest between 11 am and 2 pm. So you may want to avoid exercising your pets between that time. Some people have a misunderstanding that humidity cools our pets down when in fact it’s quite the opposite. Animals pant in order to evaporate moisture from their lungs, this process cools them down. But they are unable to do that if humidity is too high, which leads to their body temperature skyrocketing very quickly. Opt instead to take early morning or evening walks, it will surely be more comfortable for both you and your pet.

Choose cooler paths for your daily walks

We all know that the ground absorbs heat from the sun so it can get extremely hot in the summer. This is especially true for concrete. If the concrete is uncomfortably hot for you to walk around barefoot, it would be safe to assume that it would be uncomfortable for your pet too. You can opt to walk your pets on grassy areas instead and take plenty of breaks in cool and shady places. Don’t forget to make sure they get plenty of water. Ice cubes in their water bowls go a long way. Your pets will love you for it and it will help to keep their body temperature down.

Watch out for sunburns

Pets are as vulnerable to UV rays as we are. While having shorter hair during summer months can help our pets keep cooler, it also makes them more susceptible to getting burned. Keep in mind that parts of their bodies that have the least amount of fur such as their faces and bellies are the most prone to sunburn. Pets with lighter colored coats will be even more sensitive to the sun because of their lack of skin pigmentation.

Other factors that you need to take into consideration are pre-existing pet conditions such as parasitic infections, autoimmune disorders and congenital hairlessness which can also increase the sensitivity of their skin.

So what can you do to protect your pet if they’re going to be out in the sun? Waterproof sunblock works wonders for pets the same way it does for you. You can also go the route of pet clothing. Not only can lightweight hats, t-shirts and capes block a lot of the sun’s rays, they’re also a lot of fun to play around with. Keep in mind though that dark clothing will absorb more heat and can get hot; so try and opt for lighter shades.

Sunburn Damage Control  

If you suspect that your pet has gotten sunburned, take them out of the sun immediately. Apply a cool compress or ointments to parts of the skin that is red, warm or flaking. If the burn is severe, your best course of action is to take your pet to the vet so that they can prescribe the necessary products or antibiotics to prevent further inflammation or infection.

Like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. You want to protect your pets with the same dedication you put into protecting yourself. We at Pet Nanny provide the best pet sitting services and are especially careful to take the necessary measures to make sure they are safe and comfortable in this summer heat. Give us a call today at 734-981-6108 or use our on-line contact form and we will be in touch as quickly as possible.

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