June 27, 2010

Hot Summer Nights

Author: Kristin Skelton

Floofins & Co., Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in Downers Grove IL and surrounding areas, provide some summer pet care tips for an upcoming hot summer in Chicagoland. It is summertime in Chicago which means it is prime time for outdoor fun in the sun. However, this time of year can also be dangerous for our four-legged friends. Dogs and cats can easily become victims of overheating, dehydration, sunburn and parasites. Here are a few tips to help prepare your “floofins” for the upcoming hot Chicago summer months.

Water, Water and More Water

  • Always have a supply of cool fresh water available for your pets
  • Add a few ice cubes to a dish of water for a cool refreshing treat
  • When on the go, keep a water bottle filled with cold fresh water for your pet. There are great products out there like bottles with snap off dishes and screw on bottle tops that allow any bottle of water to act like a hamster watering bottle.

Summer Exercise Considerations

  • Wait 30-60 minutes after eating before taking your pet for their walk or run.
  • Walk your dog in the grass or keep pavement walks brief. Sensitive paws can quickly burn on asphalt. Consider paw protectors or booties.
  • Avoid dog days at the beach. During extremely hot months, your pet would prefer shade to sunshine. Excessive panting, raspy breath and discolored gums are signs of heatstroke. To treat, take your pet to a shady spot and cool them with wet towels. Don’t forget to call your veterinarian.
  • Also you can always call on your pet sitter to give your pet some TLC and a potty break while you enjoy your day at the beach.

Cars and Pets

  • Never leave your animal in a vehicle, even with the windows open. The temperature in a parked vehicle can reach more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Dogs pant to expel excess heat because they can not sweat to cool off like we can. When their internal temperatures match the external temperatures, it can lead to heat stroke, dehydration and even death.
  • Coolant and antifreeze leaks taste sweet and can be fatal. Use animal-friendly propylene glycol coolant rather than ethylene glycol in your vehicles.
  • Never let your pet drink out of strange puddles.

Summer Bugs (Fleas, Ticks and Heartworms)

  • Visit your veterinarian in the spring before summer bugs hatch.
  • Fleas and ticks are usually found during grooming or while petting your “floofin”. During the height of parasite season, check your pet at least three times a week and after any outdoor activities.
  • Implement an effective flea and tick control program.
  • Keep up with your monthly heartworm preventative medications as well as annual testing.

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