When it's hot outside, animals may need special care.

Make sure there is always plenty of water available for your animals. Secure bowls and buckets so they cannot be spilled. Animals pant and can become dehydrated easily.

Provide shade and cool places away from the heat. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are serious problems in the summertime.

Never, never leave an animal (or a child!) in a parked car in the heat!
When the outside temperature is 85 degrees, the car temperature will soon be about 102, even with the windows slightly open. In 30 minutes the temperature could be as high as 120 degrees! And you know our temperatures in the South can get up into the 90's.

A dog's normal body temperature is between 101.5 and 102.2. In case of heat stroke the body temperature may go as high as 108, and brain damage or death will occur. It is imperative to cool the dog quickly. Use covered ice packs or cool tap water poured carefully over the neck and the rest of the body, keeping the water away from the dog's nose and mouth. Drowning is possible if care is not taken. Get the animal to a vet immediately.

Summer is, of course, prime flea and tick season. Products like Frontline, Sentinel, etc, are good. Preventic tick collars are good. See your vet.

Going boating? Make sure your pets wear life preservers. All dogs need to be taught to swim-- even Labs. Never just throw your dog into the water-- ease them into it with a few swimming lessons. Animal life preservers are available in pet supply stores.

And yes, pets with a close summer trim are susceptible to sunburn . Consider sunscreen for noses, tips of ears, bellies and other exposed skin. Avoid sunscreen that contains PABA or zinc oxide, which should not be ingested.

Fireworks? Make sure your pet is secured in your home or in a quiet place away from the festivities. Dogs will run through invisible fences and get out any way they can if they are frightened. This could lead to loss and death from being struck by vehicles or hurt by the fireworks.

If you treat your lawn, don't allow your pets on it until the treatment dries. It is poison.

Never put your dog in the back of a pick up truck! No matter how obedient they are, dogs are of the moment and could jump out and get injured or killed. Securing them with a tether will cause hanging if the dog jumps out. If they have to be in the back, put them in a secured kennel/cage, tied firmly to the truck with the kennel door secured.

Any time of the year, wipe up spills on your driveway or garage, especially antifreeze. Antifreeze has a sweet taste; dogs, cats and children too, will drink it. Even a little sip can be fatal. For a more friendly antifreeze, try the product called 'Sierra'.

And finally, keep your pets happy and healthy with daily brushing and attention -- all year round.

Phone: 864-834-1313
Email: sharon@caninesncats.com

"Visiting a [shelter] is a grueling experience - all those desperate creatures clamouring for attention. For the tender-hearted it is not hard to come away with a whole pack."
– Jilly Cooper, Mongrel Magic