As we move into full-blown spring the weather will start to become hotter with less cloud cover meaning that there will be a lot of sunshine. Whilst this will encourage us dog owners to get outside with our animals, it is important to remember that there a few dangers to be taken into consideration in order to keep our pets happy, healthy and safe.
One of the main threats to a dog’s health during hot weather is the risk of heatstroke. Many people know that leaving an animal in a car on a hot summer’s day can be very dangerous indeed. However, a dog left in a car on a slightly milder, yet sunny, spring day is still just as at risk. Cars heat up very quickly and so any amount of sunshine can pose a threat to an animal’s life if they are left in a vehicle. Even leaving a pet in the car for just a few minutes with the window open can mean the difference between life and death.
Most dogs love to swim, especially when it is hot, as it cools them off and provides them with a great form of entertainment. Whilst swimming is usually fun for both pet and owner, not all dogs will be great at it. This can be due to an underlying condition, such as something to do with the heart, or for other reasons but it can sometimes be better to safeguard a dog’s well-being by ensuring that they wear a life preserver when in or near deep water.
Exercise is another factor that should be given some thought as the temperature starts to increase. When we go for a run in hotter weather we dress accordingly, wearing fewer layers than we were in the winter. Dogs do not have this option and so it is up to us owners to ensure that their winter coat is trimmed ready for spring and summer when the sun starts to shine; this will mean that the dog can still come for runs/jogs without overheating. In addition to the trimming of a dog’s coat, owners may also want to make sure that they run early in the morning or in the later evening (around dusk time) so that the temperature is not too hot for their canine friend.
If a dog is kept outdoors then there a few factors that may help to make sure they do not overheat. Constant hydration is one such factor and so the dog should have access to a supply of fresh water throughout the hot days. They should also have a cool, shaded place where they can go to lie down, rest and escape the heat of the sun. In addition, it can be a good idea for people who live in warm climates to hose down their dog before work in the morning or if not then, perhaps on their lunch break.
It is widely known that if anti-freeze is ingested by an animal then it can be prove to be fatal. Whilst this is highlighted during the colder seasons, it is not so focused upon during the hotter half of the year. However, the possibility of an animal ingesting it during spring and summer is a very real danger as many people will still have the product in their engines. As the heat increases so too does the temperature of engines which means that some cars will overheat and actually leak anti-freeze, which tastes sweet and is inviting to animals.
Our pets are a part of our family and as such we should go to the same lengths to protect them as we do the human members of the family. Along with medical care, cheap pet insurance, nutrition and exercise, we should exercise our common sense when taking our pets out into the hot days that are sure to start occurring more and more. Insuring your pet gives you peace of mind that you and your pet will be covered if anything were to happen. Animal Friends offer a wide range of policies for dogs, cats and horses, and we also insure older pets.