Pet Care in Hot Weather

Aug 3, 2012 by Linda Sharp

A pet is there when others are not for some of us. Pets are beloved family members. As we age, pets provide constant companionship. As working people, pets often provide relief from the stress of the day when we get home. The items below offer some ideas that can keep your pet as safe and healthy as possible in extremely hot weather. Some of the suggestions should be a consideration in all kinds of weather.
#1. When to Water: Make water available at all times when possible. Allow your pet to determine how much to drink. Likewise, your pet may need potty spots more frequently.
#2. On-demand: If traveling, make serious effort to offer water every hour on the hour (or a similar schedule).
#3. Location: Place the water bowl in a familiar or predictable place so your pets know it’s for them.
#4. H2O: Bring large sacks of ice or 5 gallon jugs of water if traveling long distance.
#5. Shade and Breeze: Find shade for your pet – like humans, pets can under-estimate the toll hot weather takes on them. A breeze, a fan or air movement can lower risk to some degree.
#6. Outdoor Heat: Limit the amount of time your pets are out of doors. If you need to be out of the heat, your pet may need that more than you.
#7. Heat Stroke: Know the signs of over-exposure to heat and of heat stroke.
#8. Paw Protection: Have protective paw gear to protect your pet from hot surfaces and burns to their paws. Not only hot pavement and cement, but the ground and other surfaces easily burn paws, and can cause lasting damage and pain.
#9. Animal Attacks: Prevent risks from snake and other animal attacks on your pet. Know your area. If traveling, keep your pet close-by. Every year, thousands of pets are lost, and the reasons are many.
#10. Shots: Inoculate your pet on schedule against predictable problems, from snake bites to desert fever to the range of health problems that prevention and required shots can prevent.
#11. Prevention: Stay alert to fireworks, loud noises, sonic booms, toxins, garbage, environmental dangers and other things from which your pet may sustain long-term side effects.
#12. Planning Ahead: Speak with your veterinarian ahead of encountering health problems, so that you know the costs and possible side effects of decisions you may face in the future.
#13. Health Insurance: Pet health insurance may be helpful in minimizing health care costs. Annual policies can start as low as $300. Speak with other pet owners and your veterinarian, as well as online or library resources before deciding. Remember, some vets may get a ‘kick-back’ from recommending you purchase a specific brand of insurance – leaving in question if that vet is completely objective. Because vets don’t accept and administer pet health insurance in lieu of payment, your vet probably has no true facts on how an insurance company has actually paid premiums. Read over policy coverage and exceptions so that you get what you expect.

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