As summer approaches, we look forward to plenty of fun in the sun and enjoying the warmer weather. However, summer can also bring some unique pet ownership challenges for this particular time of the year. Of course, as responsible owners, we always want to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of our pets is a priority, including our smaller and often more delicate friends. Here are our 10 top tips for keeping small animals safe in the summer.
As temperatures increase so does the risk of dehydration for your pet. A dangerous, and potentially life-endangering condition, dehydration occurs when your pet does not have enough fluid within its body. Alarmingly, dehydration can be fatal in just a few hours, particularly in very small animals. For this reason, you should ensure that your pet always has access to fresh cool water, both during the day and at night.
Knowing the signs of dehydration in any animal is essential, as it means you can spot it early and take either remedial steps or get your pet to your veterinarian immediately. Your pet may be dehydrated if they:
Have a hot, dry nose
Pass little or no urine
Have sunken eyes
Seem noticeably lethargic
Have skin that doesn’t spring back into place when you gently pinch and release it
If you suspect your pet may be suffering from dehydration it is critically important to seek veterinary advice and care at Ramsgate Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible.
Alongside dehydration, heatstroke is another serious and potentially life-threatening condition for our pets. Symptoms include:
Drooling and excessive salivation
Panting or breathing in a sharp and shallow way
Reduced activity and noticeable lethargy
Seizures or loss of consciousness
Head and ears feeling hot to touch
Again, if you think your pet may have heatstroke, it’s essential that you take them to a vet right away.
If your pet spends time outside as well as in the house, it is important that they have somewhere to escape the direct heat and relax. This could be a pop-up tent, a sheet strung up to provide shelter, or even a cooler, darker corner of the outside space.
If the temperature outside is just too hot, even in the shady areas you have provided for your pet, it’s advisable to bring their habitat indoors. If you keep blinds and curtains closed, the inside of your home is likely to be cooler, even if you don’t have AC. Move their habitat into the coolest room of the house, ideally with a fan circulating the cooler air as this will help lower their body temperature.
We hear a lot about dogs being left in hot cars during the summer and know just how dangerous it is. However, the same risks apply to other small animals, too. Perhaps you are transporting your pet to a new location, such as a boarding facility or even your veterinary office, and you need to make a stop on the way. Don’t. Never leave any animal in a hot car or building. It can be fatal in minutes.
Summer can mean an abundance of plants and flowers growing both in your garden and in the wild, but often owners are unaware that many are toxic to animals. For example, azaleas, daffodils, foxgloves, and poppies are all very poisonous to rabbits. It’s not just plants that are toxic to pets. This is the time of year when people use pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals in their yards and gardens, and many of these could prove fatal if they are consumed by your pet.
You can prevent some of the most common summer ailments just by ensuring that your pet’s vaccinations and medications are up to date. If you aren’t sure what your pet needs, or if any preventative treatments could benefit them, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinary staff at Ramsgate Veterinary Clinic.
Summer often means that people choose to have many more outdoor activities, including parties, BBQs, and other types of gatherings that can be scary and dangerous for animals. For example, it’s not a good idea to have rabbits running loose around the yard when you have friends over for a BBQ, or your pet may get scared if you choose to let off fireworks for the 4th of July. Be considerate of your furry pals when planning your summer fun.
There’s no better time to make sure that your pet’s microchip is up to date with your personal information! If your pet isn’t microchipped, speak to your veterinarian about it today.
If you would like more small animal summer safety tips, please contact our veterinary team at Ramsgate Veterinary Clinic in Waco at (254) 848-4083 today to schedule an appointment.
We hope these tips have proved helpful and wish you and your furry friends a happy and healthy summer. Of course, if you have any questions regarding your pet’s health this summer please get in touch as our veterinary experts are on hand and ready to help.