By: Maureen Miller
The dog days of summer are almost here. It can be the perfect season to enjoy spending time with our furry friends. If you follow a few simple tips your pets will be sure to enjoy summer as much as we do.
Traveling with your Pets
• Take a trip to the vet and make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is healthy to travel. Don’t forget to pack any medications your pet may need.
• Be sure your pet has ID tags with a phone number to be reached during your trip, and bring proof of all vaccinations.
• If traveling by air make sure to check with the airlines well in advance of your trip for the requirements for flying with your pet.
• If traveling by car ensure your pet is properly restrained to keep them safe. Stop every few hours so your pet can exercise and relieve itself. Most important, never leave your pet in
a hot car!
• Make sure to plan ahead for your accommodations. Most hotels do not accept pets and those that do can fill up quickly.
• Try to create an environment as close to home as possible. Feed them the same food at the same time as you do at home and bring a favorite toy or bed to create a comfortable home away
While some pets are happy to travel, many may be just as happy to stay home. Consider what is best for your pets and your family. Hiring a pet sitter or boarding your pet may be a better option for everyone.
Heat Dangers for our Pets
As the weather gets hotter there are some important tips to know to keep our pets safe.
Did you know that pets don’t cool themselves the same as people? We sweat to cool down when we are hot. Our pets, however, have very few sweat glands, which surprisingly are located in the pads of their feet. So how do pets cool themselves? They pant. When your pets tongue is hanging out of his mouth, and he is breathing heavy, he is saying, I’m HOT! Unfortunately this is a very inefficient way to cool off. So to keep our pets from overheating when the temperature rises we need to do a few things:
• Limit exercise to the early morning or late evening.
• Provide plenty of fresh water; be sure to take water on your daily walk too.
• Make sure your pet has plenty of shade or is inside during the heat of the day.
• If the pavement is too hot for you to walk barefoot; it’s too hot for your pet.
• Most important, never ever leave your dog in a car when the temperature is above 70 degrees. Be kind and leave your pet behind.
If you notice your dog seems heat stressed get them cooled off as quickly as possible. Move in the shade or better yet inside an air-conditioned area. Put cool wet towels (not cold) in the groin and armpit area, run cool water on feet and earflaps. Offer water but don’t force water down their throat as you may cause water to enter the lungs. Call your veterinarian immediately for further instructions.
With these tips in mind we can all have a fun and safe summer.
Maureen Miller is the owner of Paws On Pet Sitting, a full service pet care business offering dog boarding, pet sitting and dog walking. She has many years of experience working with animals including rescuing and rehabilitating marine mammals at Friends of the Sea Lion in Laguna Beach, CA. Maureen is the mother of three children and she lives with her family on a small horse ranch in New River, AZ.