Summer Safety Tips for Your Furry FriendsBy: Cathy Leeman
As the temperatures rise this summer, so do the safety risks for your pets. It's important to keep in mind that as hot as it is for us outside, it's even hotter for your pups! Heatstroke, dehydration and water safety are all seasonal risks associated with summer. Don't fret though; we have some super hot pet tips sure to keep your best friend safe this summer holiday.
How do you know if your pet is suffering from heatstroke? Signs for heatstroke may include excessive panting and/or drooling, rapid breathing, rise in body temperature and staggering. Treat your pet just as you would treat your child, call the doctor (veterinarian) immediately. You can also give your pet ice cubes and offer him some Pedialyte to restore electrolytes. The best way to treat heatstroke is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are some ways to avoid heatstroke and dehydration:
- Adjust your exercise regimen to early morning or evening
- hours to keep both of you cool and safe from the extreme
- Georgia mid-day heat.
- Never leave your pet unsupervised in a car. Even a mildly hot day can be dangerous for your precious pet.
- Lots and lots and lots and lots of water!
- Be sure your pet has access to shady cool areas.
- Bring extra water on long car trips.
In addition, be sure to adhere to county laws regarding tethering. In Forsyth County it is "unlawful for the owner of any dog to restrain or anchor a dog by means of a tether... unless the tether or other restraint is used only temporarily... meaning 3 hours or less." If you are tethering, provide your pups with plenty of water, shade and limit his time outdoors. "We worked very hard to get his law passed to keep our dogs safe in Forsyth County," said Lance White, President of the Human Society of Forsyth County.
It is unsafe for anyone, human or canine, to swim alone. When you're splashing it up this summer at your nearest watering hole, don't forget to keep an eye on Fido. Dogs can become exhausted the same as humans. Sometimes knowing how to do the doggie paddle just isn't enough. If you plan on spending plenty of time in the water you may want to consider purchasing a doggie swim vest.
In the summer our feline friends are more at risk to "High-Rise Syndrome." This is when animals, mainly cats, fall from open windows or doors. The results can vary from permanent physical damage, death or loss of your kitty cat due to her running away in fear. Simple ways to avoid these risks are to check all screens to be sure they are secure and avoid opening doors or windows with no screens. Cats are very intelligent animals but they still need our care and extra attention in this department.
We all love our furry friends! Keep them safe this summer by keeping an eye out for dangerous situations. You know your pet. If you notice any changes in behavior, call your vet for help. It's better to be safe than sorry and this time of year poses many additional potential hazards. For more helpful hints or information you can visit the Human Society of Forsyth County's website at www.forsythpets.org.