Is your furry pal a senior? If so, you’ll want to take some extra care with them over the next few months. Summer’s heat can be rough for any pet, but it’s particularly hard on older dogs and cats. A Dutchess County, NY vet offers some helpful tips below.
Making sure that your pet stays properly hydrated is very important. Your dog or cat should have plenty of fresh, cool water available at all times. On sweltering days, drop a few ice cubes into their bowl. You can also offer some sodium-free broth. This contains electrolytes, so it’s great for hydration. If you have more than one pet and/or a large house, set out more than one water station. Fido and Fluffy may also enjoy a pet fountain.
Good grooming will help keep them cooler. Dead fur and dander interfere with the natural abilities of your pet’s pretty coat, and can make them quite hot and itchy! Consider booking grooming appointments.
Make sure your four-legged friend has a comfy bed. You may want to get a raised bed for Fido, and a kitty hammock for Fluffy. These types of beds allow air to move under them, which helps keep them cooler. You can also add a frozen towel to your pet’s bed. Another option is to point a fan over it.
Don’t encourage your pet to exercise vigorously during the hottest parts of the day. Mornings and evenings are better for walks and playtime, as it’s at least a little cooler out.
Just like people, pets are more comfortable in places with fans or air conditioners during the summer. Keep your furry buddy cool and comfy inside, in climate-controlled areas. If Fido likes going places with you, make sure he won’t have to wait for you in the car. This is extremely dangerous in hot weather! As for Fluffy, she’s best off staying indoors anyway.
Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion. These include panting, trembling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, reduced/dark urine, discolored gums, trembling, and an elevated heart rate. If you see any of these symptoms, immediately give your pet some water, get them to a cool area, and contact your vet.
Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Dutchess County, NY veterinary clinic, we’re here to help.