Give Your Pet the Best Care: Heat Warnings + Insurance Tips

We humans love our pets. We spend time picking out their name, the perfect collar, and some pet owners even have a full wardrobe just for their pet. It’s a deep connection we have.

These tiny (and sometimes not so tiny) creatures become a best friend, a part of the family. Pet owners want to protect and care for their pets in every way possible. That’s why so many insurance companies offer specialized insurance for dog owners

This addition to the traditional homeowners policy is great for devoted pet owners and offers additional protection for you, the pet owner. 

Even though we think the world of our pets, there is the risk of unforeseen damages or injuries that can result when pets are around. These policies offer an extra layer of protection in case of damage to property or individuals as a result of your dog. 

We never want to think these things can happen, but it’s always best to be prepared for these unexpected and unthinkable situations. It’s best to over plan and be prepared, just in case.

Pet Insurance and Rising Temperatures

The need for pet health insurance, however, occurs during the summer months. Those adorable, cuddly furballs become even more fragile during the summer. They need extra care and attention to make sure they stay healthy and safe. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you venture out and plan your summer fun.

Leave Pets at Home

Summer is the hottest time of the year. Temperatures can reach extremely high numbers and that can have devastating effects on our pets. The best course of action is to leave the pets at home.

So many pet owners like to take their animals out and about. Unfortunately, many businesses have a strict no-pets policy. That means the pets get left in the car. During the summer, the temperature in the car can be 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside. 

If the temperature outside is 80 degrees, then the temperature in your car is hovering around 100 degrees. Even if they’re in the car for just a few minutes, that heat can be deadly for our fur-covered creatures. Even though it can be difficult, the best practice is to leave the pets at home to enjoy the cool air conditioning.

Because our pets will be spending more time at home over the summer, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your home setup. There are obstacles and dangers at home that can make it difficult for pets to feel at home. Take this time to create a home for you and your pet to enjoy together.

Keep Water Close

Water intake is even more important for pets when the temperature gets hotter. Make sure your pet has easy access to fresh, clean water at all times. 

If you take your pet on any outdoor adventures this summer, make sure you bring a portable water container and fresh water. Your pet will need to stay hydrated, and those more naturally occurring water sources can have chemicals and pollutants that can be harmful.

Some pets like to lounge in a shallow pool to help keep themselves cool. This can be a safe, even fun, option for those animals that want to jump in. Remember, don’t force an animal to get into a pool or shallow wading area. This can be traumatic and result in injury of the dog, yourself, or others.

If you are driving with your pet, bring plenty of bottled water for them. Most safety guides for traveling with pets suggest giving your pet ice cubes if they suffer from motion sickness. Licking ice forces them to consume water slower, which helps their stomach to settle.

Skip the Buzz Cut

Many pet owners feel the need to cut their pet’s hair in the summer months. That long, fur coat can look uncomfortable to the human eye. In reality, however, our dog’s fur provides important protection in the summer heat.

A dog’s fur protects its skin from sunburn and bug bites. Most dog breeds are able to shed their undercoat in the warmer months to help keep them cool. If you still want to schedule a visit to the groomer, make sure it’s just a trim.

Recognize Signs of Heatstroke

The most important summer pet care tip is to understand and recognize heatstroke in animals. Even with preparation and vigilance, our animals can overheat. In these situations, early treatment is the best way to help your pet.

To identify heatstroke, you need to know the signs. Dogs who are suffering from a heatstroke will exhibit any of the following symptoms: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, lethargy, fever, dizziness, stumbling or uncoordinated movements, excess salivation, vomiting, purple tongue, and, in extreme cases, seizure or unconsciousness. 

If you recognize any of these symptoms, you must get your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. As you call the animal hospital, get your pet out of direct sunlight and attempt to cool them down. Get them inside, put them in front of a fan, wrap them in a wet towel, and get them professional treatment quickly. 

Heatstroke can be deadly, but with prompt treatment, animals can survive. In extreme cases, there are serious, lasting health issues caused by heat stroke. Some animals experience heart and respiratory issues, even neurological damage. Pet owners will need professional help, like a neurologist for dogs, to help those animals that survive severe heat stroke.

Stay on the Grass

When you do take your pet outside in the summer, make sure you stay on and around grassy areas. Pavement, concrete, and asphalt all house a lot of heat during the summer months. Dogs are closer to the ground, and that means they are closer to all that heat, which can cause them to overheat. 

Hot pavement can also burn the paws and pads of some dog breeds. These burns can be difficult to treat and incredibly painful for the dogs. On especially hot days, it’s best to skip the afternoon walk and opt for a shady spot in a nearby park.

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No Fireworks

Summertime means barbecues and fireworks as many people celebrate any one of the summer holidays. Fireworks are great for humans, but they aren’t always enjoyed by our four-legged friends.

If you plan to watch or participate in any fireworks celebrations, leave the pets at home. Fireworks can cause burns or other injuries to dogs and animals, so they should stay away.

Many animals are uncomfortable around loud noises and sudden, bright lights as well. This means fireworks can be very traumatic. Don’t worry, the dogs won’t be upset they missed out on the fireworks display this year.

Stay on Top of Tick and Heartworm Prevention

It may seem minor, but it’s very important to stay consistent with your animal’s flea and tick prevention medication. Ticks thrive during the summer months, making it much more likely your pet will pick up an unwanted traveler or two. Frequent treatment for ticks can help cut down or cut out the tick instances this summer.

Mosquitos are also a major concern for dogs and pets. Mosquitoes carry and spread heartworms, which are incredibly dangerous. Make sure you give your pet tick and heartworm medication regularly and talk with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. 

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but that fun should be limited and highly monitored for our pets. Keep those animals well watered and shady while you adventure this summer.