Our pets not only become like members of the family, but they can be useful. Besides the help some of us may get from service dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind, a dog can alert you to intruders or trouble. Cats can keep the rodent population down. Our pets can be valuable in survival situations.
Make sure your cats and dogs have a shady place to sleep during hot weather. Keep them well supplied with fresh, clean water. Give them their food in the cooler hours of the day. Be sensitive to your pet’s needs, especially with older animals.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet in a hot car. It can get awfully hot inside a closed car even when the outside temperature is in the low 70’s. Your car or pickup can heat up in a hurry, and your pet might suffer heat stroke and die.
Signs of heat stroke include heavy, loud breathing, a staggering walk, and a bright red tongue or gum tissue. If you think your dog or cat has had heat stroke, get him to a cool place. Put a cold compress on his belly or soak him with cool water in severe cases. Get him to a vet as soon as possible because this is a medical emergency.
If you walk or exercise your dog, do it in the cool hours of early morning or late evening. You don’t want him to overheat. Keeping him on a leash can save his life because he can’t run into traffic or chase cats and squirrels or other animals in the wild.
Check daily for fleas and ticks. Brushing and combing will help with this. Fleas can cause your dog to develop hot spots on his skin where he scratches at them. Your veterinarian will know what to recommend to help prevent fleas and ticks.
If you have a swimming pool, you may want to keep your dog away from it, since not all dogs can swim.
Cats have a tendency to jump out of windows in warmr weather and can be seriously hurt or killed by leaping from a second story or higher window. Contrary to popular myth, cats don’t always land on their feet. Therefore, make sure your windows have good screens or are closed.
When there’s a thunderstorm or loud noises like fireworks, play with your pet, rather than pet him. When he shows signs of anxiety, playing can distract him from what’s causing the stress. It teaches your dog to associate play and treats with whatever is causing him stress.
Be careful about the table scraps you feed your pets. Keep your dog away from picnic garbage. Eating corn cobs and bones from chicken or other sources can cause blockage in his stomach or punch a hole in it inside. peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants like lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits can cause stomach irritation vomiting or diarrhea from their acids and oils.
Other food scraps can cause problems, too, such as the stems, leaves, and seeds of apples, cherries, peaches, and apricots. If your dog eats a lot of these, he may vomit and lose his appetite. Dogs can suffer kidney failure from grapes and raisins. All forms of onions can make your dog sick.
Finally, make sure vaccinations are up to date. Parvovirus is an illness that flourishes in hot weather, and it can be fatal to unvaccinated dogs. Also, be sure your [pets are vaccinated for rabies. Since dogs and cats spent a lot of time outdoors, they may be exposed to animals with rabies. Have your dog tested and treated for heartworm, which is transmitted by mosquitoes in warm weather.
If you believe in alternative for medicine for pets, take any necessary steps to keep your pets healthy during summer’s climate.
In tough survival situations, it’s unavoidable that pets will be injured or will die. Show them love as best as you can to help them survive with you.