It almost summertime and the living should be easy but too many pet owners get the “Summertime Blues” because they are unaware of how dangerous our desert heat can be for their furry friends. It’s very hot for very long and many everyday activities that include your pet need to be adjusted.
Pools, like pets, are everywhere in the greater Phoenix area. Many dogs love the water on a hot summer day and need no coaxing to jump in. But even good swimmers may be bad at finding their way out and can drown. Show your dog where the steps are and how to get out of the pool. Create a ramp or other device to help water-loving small dogs.
Consider a pet-size life jacket. Supervise old, sick or blind dogs around the pool. Remember, a doggy door can provide access to an unfenced backyard pool. It should also be noted that during winter months a pet falling into the pool may suffer hypothermia even if rescued in time.
Most dogs love car rides but if you can’t take the pet into the store with you, leave him at home. Cars in Arizona can reach 150-200 degrees in minutes, even with the windows opened, even on so-called mild days.
Even your own backyard and neighborhood have dangers. Don’t leave dogs outside during the Arizona summer. If you do leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.
Out and About
Don’t walk or hike with your pet during the heat of the day. Adjust your pet’s exercise routine just as you adjust yours. Walk your dog very early in the morning or at sunset, or later. Remember, hot pavement hurts their paws just as it would your bare feet. Be careful where you walk. Pets can get cactus spines stuck on their muzzles, paws and elsewhere and extracting them can be a lengthy, painful process so teach your pet to avoid them.
Take extra care with overweight, thick coated and short-muzzled dogs like pugs and bulldogs, which are all more sensitive to heat. Pets with pale skin, thin coats and pink noses can get sunburned, even get skin cancer. But be aware that certain sunscreens and zinc are toxic
Summers in Arizona are not for the fainthearted. But the best cure for the Summertime Blues is….October.