Pet Tips
Summer Pet Tips
By Nutan Patel
Jul 16, 2004 - 4:06:00 PM

With the onset of summer, it is extremely important that individuals keep in mind various precautionary pet care tips. 

     If driving with a pet on a warm summer day with a car that has power windows, always make sure that the window lock is on.  Otherwise, you risk the chance of your pet accidentally stepping on the power window button and having the window close on its head!  Also, never leave a pet in a parked car even if the windows are cracked open.  The temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes.  Tragically, every summer pets left in parked cars suffer from brain damage and heat stroke. 

     In high temperatures, the most important necessity for a pet is fresh water.  Always have fresh water available and try to create a cooler pet environment, which includes the use of a fan for indoor pets if one does not have air conditioning.  Furthermore, high temperatures usually bring the onset of additional baths for sanitary and cooling effects.  Bathing too many times with shampoo, along with not thoroughly rinsing, can cause skin problems.  Sometimes rinsing alone is enough.  

     Depending on where one lives, fleas can be a big problem in the summertime.  Beware of highly toxic flea products; the fewer chemicals there are, the better.  An alternative is to buy a flea comb and some alcohol.  Apply the flea comb to your pet’s entire coat, immediately placing it in alcohol with every stroke.  This toxic free approach can be very effective and should be done one to two times a day depending on the severity of the situation. 

     In regards to outdoor activities, try and limit exercise to the early morning or evening hours.  Since pets can be sunburned too, sunscreen should be applied especially to vulnerable light colored noses and light colored fur ears. Hydration is key to all outdoor activities.  Always watch for signs of fatigue and slowing, and offer water every 5 minutes if biking or running and every 15 minutes if hiking. 

     Biking is generally not a good idea to do with pets, since it is difficult to maintain a comfortable pace for both parties.  When camping, keep pets from approaching local wildlife, since it can be deadly to the wildlife and your pet.  Lastly, if gardening happens to be a summer hobby, be weary of plant food, fertilizer and insecticides that can be fatal to pets if ingested.

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