Dog (and Cat!) Days of Summer
It looks like summer has definitely arrived in San Jose, with temperatures expected to hit 90 degrees and above. It’s a great time to have a ton of fun with our pets — swimming, playing outside, enjoying the sun, but summer does come with some dangers as well. Here are our tips for a safe and enjoyable summer with your pets:
Never leave your pet in a parked car! The temperature in the car (even with the windows cracked) can rise dangerously fast and cause irreversible damage to your pet. According to the Humane Society, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 102 degrees in only 10 minutes!
If you see a pet left inside a car, here are a few ways that you can help:
- Take down the car’s make, model, and license
- If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.
- Call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive.
Provide shade and water! When you and your pet are outside, make sure there is shade nearby for them to cool down. A dog house will not help, the walls stop the air flow and will make your pet even hotter! It’s also important to keep your pet hydrated, adding ice into their water will help keep them cool (and per our observations, be super fun)!
Keep ‘em cool! Animals experience heat differently from humans and on a hot day, a fan won’t do the trick. There are cooling wraps and mats that can help out, and if your dog doesn’t mind baths, you can try a cool soak.
Limit their exercise! Keep an eye on the intensity and timing of your pet’s exercise. It’s best to let them run around in the early morning or evening when the heat is not as intense. Be especially careful with dogs that have difficulty breathing, such as short-nosed pets, and dogs who are more susceptible to skin cancer.
Be a lifeguard! Do not leave pets unattended around a pool — some of our pets are natural swimmers, but others definitely need a little help with their floatation. Plus, drinking too much pool water can lead to an upset stomach (and sometimes a pool can look just like a big water bowl to our pups!) If you are going to swim with your dogs, introduce them to the water gradually. If your pup enjoys the water but struggles a little, you can consider purchasing a life jacket!
Watch the screens! On hot days our cats and dogs tend to move towards windows for some relief. Make sure that all of your screens are secure and that any windows without screens are closed.
Here are some signs of heat-related stress to watch out for:
- Excessive panting/Difficulty breathing
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid pulse
- Unsteadiness/Staggering walk
- Dark Red/Purple Tongue
If you recognize any of these signs, please call your veterinarian and get to the office as quickly as possible!
Here are some of our favorite pet products to beat the heat:
Arctic Freeze Fetch
Gulpy Water Dispenser
Outward Hound Life Jacket