While summer may be coming to an end, that does not mean that we’re spared from hot weather even in the fall! With last year setting records as the hottest year on Earth with plenty of steamy days well into October, it’s important to stay vigilant about warm weather safety!
Scorching temperatures, blazing sun, and thick humidity can create dangerous conditions for even the sturdiest among us. Our pets also need extra TLC during the hottest months of the year to ensure they remain healthy and comfortable. Take a moment to bone up on your end-of-summer pet safety knowledge with your friends at Fairview Veterinary Hospital!
Pet’s bodies simply aren’t as efficient as human’s when it comes to keeping cool, putting them at a high risk of overheating during the warmer months. Keep your fur friend safe from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related emergencies with the following tips:
Make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, cool water at all times, both indoors and in the yard. Carry a collapsible bowl and a bottle of water with you on walks, visits to the park, or anywhere you go.
Before you head out for a walk, check the temperature of the sidewalk, sand, trail, or other surface by placing your palm on the ground. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
Limit walks and outdoor playtime to the early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler.
Keep pets indoors where there is air conditioning or fans during the hottest time of the day.
Heat stroke in pets is a serious condition, and can develop rapidly in hot weather. Be on the lookout for excessive panting, drooling, reddened or blue gums, and rapid heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, move him or her to a cool, indoor location and contact us for assistance.
Did you know that pets can get sunburns? If you know your pet will be in the sun, protect him or her by applying a pet-friendly sunscreen to the tips of the ears, snout, belly, and anywhere there is light-colored, white, or minimal fur.
Before taking your pet to the lake, river, beach, or anywhere outdoors, make sure there will be some type of shade available.
Kiddie pools, slip n’ slides, and sprinklers are all fun ways for pets to keep cool on hot days. You can also toss a few ice cubes into his or her water bowl to promote hydration and keep the water cool.
Never, ever leave your pet inside a parked car, even for a moment. Temperatures inside parked cars, even those parked in the shade with the windows cracked, can climb to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes. The safest place for your pet is at home.
A Helping Hand
Warm temperatures lead to especially dangerous times for stray dogs and cats, who may not have access to enough water or shelter. Protect any strays in your neighborhood, along with your own pets, by keeping bowls of water around the yard. Contact your local Humane Society if you notice an animal chained outdoors without adequate water or shelter.
This warning holds true for your vehicles as well! Just because September is coming and our temperatures should drop moving forward, it’s vital to realize that even a breezy, 70 degree day can make your car an oven for your pets. It’s best to just leave pets at home when running errands to avoid disaster. These days, folks will easily break your car windows if they feel an animal is in danger and, in many states, these actions are supported by local law enforcement. Don’t put your pet or yourself in danger – let your pets stay comfortable at home!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital with your summer pet safety questions.
What happens when your pet wears down or fractures a tooth?
A pet’s tooth is made of three layers. The outer layer, called the enamel, is very thin but strong and is impervious to bacteria in the saliva: Enamel protects the two inner layers of a tooth from infection. The middle layer, called the dentin, is an organized collection of connective tissue plus blood capillaries and nerve fibers running within tubules: Dentin makes up the bulk structure of the tooth. The inner core, called the root canal, is a bundle of larger blood vessels and nerves that convey nutrients and sensory function to the dentin. Oftentimes we do not think of a tooth as being a live tissue but it truly is!
Pets use their mouths to grasp and chew food. They also use their mouths as a tool to explore their environment and to carry objects. Considering how strong a pet can clamp their teeth together it is no surprise that they can wear through the thin protective enamel, or even fracture through the enamel.
Saliva naturally contains bacteria. When a tooth wears slowly enough the body has a protective mechanism named “reparative dentin” that will seal dentin tubules from bacterial infection. But if a tooth wears too quickly for reparative dentin to form then the salivary bacteria can leak into the open dentinal tubules and infect the inside of the tooth. Another way that the inside of a tooth can become infected is if a pet’s tooth suddenly fractures. We see this very often from trauma such as pets fighting with one another, chewing on objects that are harder than a tooth, or being hit by a car.
Once salivary bacteria infects the inside of a tooth it nearly always causes the tooth to die. This leads to an ongoing tooth root infection know as an endodontic abscess. Dental infection can spread to vital organs including the heart, liver, kidney, and bladder.
Having your pet’s worn and/or fractured teeth cared for is one of the keys to keeping your pet healthy so that they can have the longest, healthiest, and happiest life possible.