Summer Health Tips for Pets

In this Breakfast Television segment, Dr. Jeff Werber 'Vet to the Stars' (seen on Dr.Oz and Emmy Award Winner) talks with Franiek and shares some summer health tips for pets. As it warms up and the summer is in full swing, Dr. Werber suggests that we are not paying enough attention to the stress that summer heat can place on our pets. Below are the tips that he talks about in the video as well as some other helpful information. Dr. Werber first reminds us that leaving a pet in the car is a big 'no-no'. No matter what your reasoning, leaving your pet in the car during the heat of summer is never a good idea. In fact if your car doesn't have air conditioning or proper ventilation when you are driving with your pet, it is probably best if your pet stays home.

Hydration is essential. This is particularly important if your dog is exercising or if it is an incredibly hot day. Lack of water can lead to dehydration and worse heat stroke! Dr. Werber explains that there are various ways of determining whether or not your pet is adequately hydrated which include: Your pets coat (if it is nice and shiny they are likely properly hydrated), gums (you want them to be nice and slimy), and by lifting your dogs skin (if it goes down fast your pet is probably well hydrated). Dr. Werber also suggests that adding wet food to your pets dry food can also assist in ensuring hydration. Bring water with you everywhere! Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Prolonged Panting
  • PaleGums
  • Pronounced Red Tongue
  • Anxious Expression
  • ConfusionorDizziness
  • Thick Salvia
  • Increased Pulse and Heart Rate
  • Vomiting
  • DifficultyBreathing
  • Collapsing
  • Coma

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms DON'T PANIC! Move your pet to a cool area and/or rinse him with cool water and call your nearest vet as soon as you can. Massaging your dog to increase circulation and encouraging them to drink water is also ideal while you are waiting to get them to the vet. Watch out for hot paws! Pavement, especially asphalt, retains heat. If you can take your dog for his/her walks in the early morning or late at night, so that the pavement has time to cool down. If you have to take your dog out in the heat, stick to shady and grassy areas when at all possible. Moisture your pets feet regularly to reduce the chance of injuries like cuts, cracking, or peeling (which can lead to an increased chance of burning). It is also good practice to check your pets paws frequently. Brush your pets teeth. Dr. Weber suggests that you brush your pets teeth daily if possible, or at least a few times a week. After the age of three plaque tends to build up at the back of the mouth, making it even more essential to have healthy gums. Dry food and toys can also assist with keeping your dogs mouth clean. It is great to exercise with your pets, but Dr.Weber suggests that you bring your dog into the veterinarian before starting any new exercise routines. Your vet can help you to ensure that your pets organ and overall health can handle the new activity. Dr. Weber also says that you know your pet best and can probably tell when they 'ADR' (Ain't Doing Right). If your dog is slowing down or panting excessively it is time to take a break and provide him/her with some water.

Other ways to keep your pets cool this summer:

  • Fill up a kids pool with water and let them sit in it to cool down. Another alternative to this is to throw down a cold wet towel for your dog to lie on.

  • Grooming is essential, especially if your dog has long hair or a dense undercoat. A groomer can help to properly brush out the hair and reduce hair mattes, which will help your dog naturally cool off.

  • If you don't have air conditioning, put fans near where your pet regularly lays to help them cool off.

For more summer health tips for pets and other great information, check out Dr. Weber's website 

This information is not a substitute to a professional medical opinion. If you are concerned about your pets health, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.