Summer has arrived, bringing with it hot weather that can have an effect on the health of your pet. Your pets are relying on you to keep them cool and safe from the heat; the Livingston Health Department has shared pet safety tips for the summer months:
- Don’t leave your pet in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down or the air conditioner on. The temperature can reach 120°F inside a parked car in a short time. Consider leaving your pets home on hot days.
- Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water to drink during the day.
- Keep your home cool for your pet by leaving the air conditioner on and shades closed. Keep in mind that a fan alone won’t keep your pet cool on really hot days.
- Don’t leave your pet outdoors on high-temperature days. A doghouse can be just as hot as the inside of a parked car on really hot days.
- If you are having a barbecue, don’t feed your pet any of the food meant for your guests — it could make them sick.
- Take your dog for a walk or to exercise early in the morning, before it gets too hot, or later in the day, when it gets cooler out.
- Avoid areas with asphalt or sand, which can hurt your pet’s paws on really hot days. Use the back of your hand to feel how hot the asphalt or sand is.
- Not all dogs are good swimmers; don’t leave them unsupervised near water. If you take your pet on a boat, have her wear a floating device.
- If you are going to a fireworks show, leave your pets at home. They can get scared by the noise of the fireworks.
- Keep lawn fertilizers and insecticides in a spot where your pet can’t reach them. Don’t let your pet on an area of grass if it might have been treated with any fertilizers or insecticides that could be harmful to him.
- Be on the lookout for symptoms that your pet may be overheating, such as: excessive panting, glazed eyes, drooling, weakness, and collapse. If your pet is experiencing any symptoms, remove them from the heat, apply cool water on her using towels, give her water, and take her to the vet right away.
For more educational information, contact Jessica Kelly, MPH, CHES, Health Educator for Livingston Health Department at 973-535-7961 ext. 227.