Summer Heat: You & Your Pets: Heat Dangers11:51 AM
Many times people forget how dangerous the sun can be not just to humans but to pets as well. So today my topic is going to be about Summer heat and ways to keep not only us humans cool but to help keep your pets cool as well.
I personally have 4 dogs and they all much prefer being outside instead of inside, we tried it both ways and when they are inside after about 5 minutes they are scratching the back door begging to go back outside, even though inside they get tons more attention, this is Winter, Summer, any season, they just prefer big wide open spaces.
First off, did you know they make sunscreen for your pets and that it helps protect their sensitive skin from the harmful sun rays? Many people are unaware of this, but if you have outside animals I highly suggest using this on them at least once a day, apply in the mornings when you feed them for the day. The same for adults, why not put on a layer of sunscreen in the mornings if you plan to be outside at all?
For your pets, if they are going to be outside, they need access to plenty of fresh clean water & lots of shade. A great idea is to purchase a small child's pool and fill it up so you pet can relax in the pool and get cooled off, or if you have pets who won't get in the pool ( I have 1 that will not at all) You can always spray them down with water , which they may or may not appreciate at the time, but you need to help them stay cool. My dogs not only have plenty of shade, but a pool to lay in or splash in and a hous we built ourselves which stays cool in summer & warm in Winter. I apply sunscreen to all 4 dogs every morning when I change out the water & feed them and frequently check on them throughout the day. If you are not home during the day to check on yur pets, take the steps outlined above and again below to make sure they stay safe.
1.) Apply Pet sunscreen to your outdoor animals in the Summer ( even on cloudy days)
2.) Make sure your animals have plenty of shade
3.) Make sure your animals have access to lots of fresh, clean water throughout the day, if you usually have one bowl, add a 2nd just for fresh water during the summer. They need the extra water to stay hydrated.
4.) Buy a small child's hard plastic pool so your pets have the option to play in the water to cool off. These can be found anywhere from the Dollar store to Walmart for between $8-$20 depending on the size you buy.
5.) If your dog only has a small doghouse, buy a 2nd pool and use it to cover that dog house to give them shelter from heat on the side of the doghouse ( Turn upside down over the doghouse and give them room to get under the side of it) of from rain so they don't have to go inside a hot doghouse just to get out of the summer rain & still stay cool. ( I am sure you can use other things as well, we just chose this route even though they have one large house we also have a smaller house they can go lay under the pool turned upside down over the top of to stay out of rain but still stay cool outdoors.
6.) Never leave your animals in a hot car, even with a window cracked for air they can still get too hot, if in doubt leave them home where they will be safer. It is much better for fluffy & you if fluffy stays home inside on hot days instead of taking a car ride to the grocery store.
Other summer healthy animal tips:
1.) Spray your yard with a Pet safe chemical to keep fleas, tic & such away. This can be purchased at the co-op for about $15 enough to cover a large yard ( our fenced in part is a little over 1/2 acre and it covers it with one spray bottle) You can also find this at Home-depot, Lowes and probably even WalMart as well
2.) Make sure your pet has flea medicine. As Flea's really eat them up in summer when they come out in full force ( it's important to do this year around but especially in the summer)Many you can buy from your vet, local pet store or from online retailers, do your research & find the best one for your animal & make sure you put the correct amount on if you use the drops as too much can eat in to your animal's skin.
3.) Make sure the food you purchase does not have corn listed as the first ingredient, as it may help fill your animal up for a little bit, it is lacking in important nutrients and they will try t over eat to compensate because they are not getting full enough on corn as a main ingredient. Look for a protein as your first ingredient listed.
4.) Check your animals frequently for ticks flea's. Ticks can get very large on a dog and make them really sick, so you want to remove them as soon as you can. Your dog will thank you later!
Now, let's talk about Human's big & small and how to stay cool this summer.
I work in the yard as often as my health will let me. They make those little thing you can soak in water and wrap around your neck but they get all slimy after a while. My crew when they work, came up with a great idea for them to stay cool while working outside in the heat. I gave them several old Beach towels ( any old towels will work) which they cut in about 4 inch strips going lengthwise. then they put ice in the strips and roll then up and tie them on the ends and wrap them around necks. they keep a cooler full of ice and also keep the towel strips on top of the ice as well for added coolness.
Another Idea is t always keep a water bottle full of ice water nearby and handy. I know lots of people like to lay out in the sun, go to the pool, lake, beach, etc. Those are all things that will make you dehydrated and loss electrolytes fast as you sweat. So think water, Gatorade, or even pedalyte, which is also a must for smaller kids. They also make a Popsicle with pedalyte that are great for smaller kids that will help keep them hydrated and electrolytes up in the ht summer weather.
If you have kid splaying outside at home, make sure they have a sprinkler, pool, or even a simple water hose to keep them cool and reapply sunscreen often, even if it says waterproof, the suns rays are crazy and can seriously burn a child.
One thing that really , really, is very important, something common sense should tell us all, is never, ever leave a child in a car, even with the windows cracked, just like a pet, it can kill them, not only that but anything in the world could happen to your child in a car alone. In less than 5 minutes in a hot car, your child could die. So even if you are just "running in the store real quick" take your child with you, you may think what a hassle but I can guarantee you,if you leave your child in the car, it will be much more than a hassle, it could mean, death, kidnapping, child neglect and child endangerment. So is running in really quick worth that to you ? If you see a child or pet in a car alone, call 911 ASAP especially in the summer time, it could mean lie or death for that child or pet.
I just found this topic to be very important especially as we come upon the next 3 hottest months of the year.