Here at LUCA Sunscreen, we have Dr. Karl to remind us about sun safety and tips for having fun in the sun!  But what about Fido or Fluffy? The American Association for Animal Hospitals (AAAH), Healthy Pet website has some great information on keeping your extended family member safe from the perils of the sun!   Just follow these few summer pet safety tips and you can keep your animal friends healthy and enjoy the months of sun and fun.

  • Never leave your pet in the car. Did you know the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down? Best leave your pet at home when running errands.
  • As you’re outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will keep them from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make them sick. This tip isn’t just for dogs–even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them.
  • Water, water everywhere. Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full.
  • Pets need sunscreen too. Though all that fur helps protect your animal, they can get sunburned, particularly if they have light skin and hair. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling, and skin cancer. So keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and when you do go out, rub a bit of LUCA Continuous Spray 50 or LUCA Max Sport 30 on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around the lips, and the tip of the nose.
  • Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure they don’t sneak a drink from the street.
  • Be cautious on humid days. Humidity interferes with an animals’ ability to rid them of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert herself. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps their body stay cool, overdoing it can cause them to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure you’re carrying plenty of water. Excess panting means its’ time to stop.
  • Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat. Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating, because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities.
  • Bring them inside. Animals shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible.
  • Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian’s care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention by just following the outlined tips.  Your pet counts on you to keep them out of harm’s way.  Both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot, dog-days of summer without a care in the world!

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