The Change in weather affects our pets just as much as it does us. As the weather warms, we put away our heavy winter coats and clothes, and bring out our summer stuff. We bring out our patio furniture and beach equipment and picnic baskets. As the temperatures cool, we start to batten down the hatches make sure the furnace is in top working order!
The heat and cold effect our pets. Make sure you are aware of what the changes do. Rule of thumb is, the smaller the body, the more changes in temperature effect them.
In the summer, move fish tanks away from windows with direct sunlight, In the yard, make sure there is plenty of fresh, cool water and a place in the shade. Don’t forget the local yard creatures, such as lizards and birds – they need shade and water too. Move food out of direct sunlight as well, especially moist or canned. It can spoil easily.
Never, ever leave your animals in a car – both heat and cold can and does kill. If you notice an animal in a locked car, try to locate the owner. If that is not possible, and the pet is in distress, call 911 for assistance.
Watch dogs and cats for signs of heat stroke which may include panting, wobbliness, dark red tongue, glazed eyes and vomiting. If overheating occurs, cool them down as soon as possible, move to a cooler area, Starting at the paws, use cool (not cold!) water then legs and finally the body. Cooling down too quickly can send them into shock, which only makes matter worse!
Don’t assume just because our pet has a fur coat that they cannot be affected by the cold. Hypothermia and frostbite can and does occur in animals as well as in humans. Severe shivering is the first sign, and it is important to get the animal warmed as soon as possible. The warming must be gradual otherwise shock will occur. Again, start with the paws and legs, as the body will conserve the warm blood in the body’s core protecting internal organs.
Our pets are important to us. It is our responsibility to make sure they are not effected by the elements, whether it be heat, cold, rain or snow. We need to be watchful to changes in our pets’ demeanor and activities to make sure they are as happy out in the weather as we are!