Monday, July 20, 2009

Sammy is my pride and joy; as the saying goes - a dog really is a man’s best friend. Since pets become members of the family, they deserve to be treated like it. Especially during the hot summer months, we must be attentive to the needs of animals.

Even though it’s hot out, dogs still need their exercise. To avoid overheating, consider an early morning or evening walk when it’s cooler. Walks at this time also protect paws from the hot ground. You may not know, but animals can get sunburned too. If you aren’t able to limit walks to early morning and evening hours be sure to put sunscreen on your dog’s nose and ear tips; dogs with light-color coats are especially prone to sunburns and skin cancer from the sun.

Overheating may occur if your pet has been out in the strong rays of the sun. If you notice heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue immediately bring your pet to a cool shady spot and apply cool water to his/her body. Letting them lick ice cubes is also a great way to cool down.

Be sure to keep your pet fully hydrated! Spiking water with different flavors is a very popular trend for humans, so try it with your animals. Try some tuna or beef flavor added to the water bowl. Your dog will be sure to slurp up every drop!

And, of course, don’t forget to make sure your animal always wears an ID tag and collar. This has helped reunite many pets and owners.

But don’t lose site of how important it is to have fun with your pet too! Try some good old fashioned Frisbee, jogging, or playing in a kiddie pool or the local lake to get your pet in the summertime spirit!