As we move into summer, Little Rock residents know to expect hot, humid weather for the next few months. In June, July, and August, the average high is between 89 – 93 (which means that half the days are above that!)
All this means that our cats and dogs may struggle a bit, especially if they are outdoors regularly. Unlike us, they have a thick layer of fur year-round. This means that hot humid weather can be especially difficult and that it falls to us, the owners, to keep them safe and comfortable.
Every year we see animals in our veterinarian clinic due to excess heat. To make sure that’s not your pet, follow these tips this summer.
Never Leave Pets in a Warm Car
We all think we would never leave a pet in a hot car, but what many owners don’t realize is that a warm car IS a hot car. A pet can develop heatstroke in a car in a matter of minutes, so don’t assume it’s OK to “just run inside quick.”
A car parked in the shade on a 78-degree day can quickly reach 90 degrees inside. You can imagine what happens if the temperature is Arkansas’ summer average of 90 or 91!
Leave your pet at home on warm days, much less hot ones. That way they won’t end up at a veterinarian clinic with heat stroke!
Watch the Paws
Both dogs and cats that spend time outdoors can have problems with their paws in the summer. Asphalt, metal, and concrete can get very hot under the summer sun, and the skin on the bottom of pets’ paws can burn their paws.
The same can happen if you have your dog in the bed of your truck during the summer. That hot metal can easily burn them, and they can overheat as well.
Try to stay on grassy or dirt surfaces. If your dog or cat must be outside on concrete during the summer, get a pair of booties for them to wear. It will protect their paws and save you a trip to the veterinarian clinic for a serious burn.
Get a Haircut and Get a Real Dog!
Oops, sorry, channeling our internal George Thorogood here at the veterinarian clinic. But in all seriousness, get your pets a haircut for the hot summer months. This doesn’t mean a complete shave – after all, dogs and cats can sunburn as well.
Instead, cut it to about one inch long. Your dog may look funny if they normally have longer fur, but they will be a lot happier and more comfortable!
Also, make an effort to be sure there’s plenty of shade and water anytime you take your dog out to a park or other area. If you are at a cookout, make sure your pets stay away from hot grills and don’t have any alcohol or eat a lot of fatty food.
Rely on Your Little Rock Veterinarian Clinic
If your dog or cat suffers burns, injury, or heat stroke this summer, don’t hesitate to bring them into the veterinarian clinic right away. Pets are injured every year, and we want to help you make sure they get treatment, feel better, and get back to their normal selves quickly.
If you have questions about specific summer activities, we’re happy to help! Simply contact us with your questions or to set up an appointment today.