As we enter the summer months during a very strange and scary time in our world, we must consider potential hazards for our pets. Due to the current health crisis, specifically COVID-19, business, group social outings, and community/live events are postponed or forbidden. We are spending more time at home, whether we are getting around to those home projects, working from home, or caring for our family. Our pets have been affected by this pandemic as well. Less socializing is happening in the community and our pets may be wondering why you’re home all the time! As the warm weather hits, we will be getting outside more and our pets will be too. Here are some tips from experienced Philly veterinarians to keep your pets healthy and safe during the warm months AND as we wait out this pandemic.
When your pet is outside, make sure they have somewhere to sit or rest that is out of the sun. Pets left outside in the sun for long periods of time may overheat or become dehydrated. Some signs/symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration include lethargy, increased breathing rate and panting, confusion, and feeling warm to the touch. Provide shade for your pet and if you think your pet is having a health issue due to dehydration or heat exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Provide your pet with water at all times. Make their water bowl or dispenser available to them throughout the day and place it in an area that they can get to it when needed. Just like us, when sitting out in the warm weather or being active throughout the day, we need to keep our bodies hydrated. Pets must do the same! They need to drink an adequate amount of water to keep organs functioning properly, allow for healthy digestion, and give them energy during the day.
During hot days, limit your pet’s time spent outside. Leaving your pet out all day while the weather is hot or humid could put them at risk for medical complications. Providing shelter and a place where they can cool down and rest is essential. Aging pets and pets with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to complications in warm/humid weather. They should not be staying out in the heat for a long duration of time.
Lastly, stay vigilant during these trying times. Keep yourself healthy and if you think you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your physician immediately. Symptoms include fever, body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, dry cough and loss of sense of taste/smell. There is no strong evidence or supporting research that says humans and pets can pass along the virus to one another but it is our duty to care for our pets. They need us to stay healthy so they can receive the care they need and the love they deserve. Practice social distancing whether you have your pet with you or not. For example, do not allow your pet to socialize or interact with other pets or people at this time. Keep your furry friend close to you and limit their contact with others, as you never know what types of germs may be on someone’s hands or on a pet’s fur.