Hello! I’d like to congratulate you for making it to the summer of 2020. We’ve made it through a LOT this year already, and if you’re still sane, that’s pretty impressive. While the humans try to navigate the “new normal” of the world this summer, here are some tips to help keep your pets happy and safe during these dog (and cat) days of summer.

Don’t be stingy with water!

Back when restaurants were a normal part of daily life, didn’t you love the waiter who always kept your water glass full? Or the bartender who was quick to provide a new drink before you even finished your last one? Hopefully you tipped them well for never letting you run dry! As pet owners, you’ll need to step into the role of attentive server, especially in the summer. Make sure your furry friend has plenty of water at all times so they can stay happy and hydrated. The tips aren’t great, but I guarantee if your pet had an income or an understanding of currency, they would be.

Don’t skimp on the AC!

As a Louisiana native, I know that a cool house and a cold drink are the best cures for the disgusting heat that plagues us every summer (and spring, and fall, and sometimes winter). Keep your house comfortably cool during the day for your pets, even if you aren’t home. Consider bringing outside cats and dogs indoors during the hottest part of the day. If that isn’t an option, make sure your yard has plenty of shaded areas for your pet to chill out, plus an accessible water source. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. Be cool and stay cool. Good advice for the summer heat and life in general!

Stay on top of vet care!

The Louisiana state bird (the mosquito, of course) is out and about in hordes this time of year, carrying heartworms, disease, and overall unpleasantness. Fleas are absolutely THRIVING in this heat too. Keep your pet protected by staying on top of heartworm and flea preventatives as well as vet checkups. Know the signs of overheating in pets such as glassy eyes and frantic panting. If you see these signs, contact your vet care provider immediately. Talk to your vet about your pet’s heat sensitivity. Obese and elderly pets have a harder time dealing with the hot sun, as well as short-nose dog breeds (pugs, bulldogs, etc). If your pets fall into this category, watch them extra carefully to make sure they’re doing okay.

Fireworks aren’t fun for pets!

Ah, the Fourth of July, a favorite American celebration of freedom. Who doesn’t love a poolside barbecue punctuated by beautiful fireworks? I can tell you who. Your pets. They have no knowledge of American history or an understanding of calendars so to them, it’s just Big Scary Boom Boom Day. Set them up for success this year by making your home a safe haven from the fireworks. Put on some music or their favorite tv show to help drown out the noise. Create hiding spots in your home for your skittish dog or cat, something comfy that feels protected. Cover their crates with blankets to help block out some of the stimulation. Make sure your pets (especially cats) are microchipped in case they try to escape during the commotion. I promise, they will consider your city’s fireworks show as a personal attack and blame you, so do all you can to prove your loyalty to your fur babies and they will thank you.

As always, Gill Bright Animal Hospital is here whenever you need us. Stay safe out there!