May flowers are blooming and the temperature is warming up in the San Diego area, which means it’s time to be outside enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. As we get outside and take our pets on more adventures, it’s good to be prepared for anything that could happen. We have some tips that can help. Here at Cardiff Animal Hospital, we always welcome walk-in, drop-off, and urgent care and emergency cases. If you have an emergency during business hours, please call us at 760-436-3215 to let us know that you’re coming. If you need after-hours assistance with an emergency, we have three partner clinics that can be found by clicking here.
First things first – monitor the heat. Even on a day with a high of 68 degrees, we know a bright sun and the ocean air can make it feel much hotter than it seems. It may be okay for you, but your dog may be having more issues than you’re aware of. With few sweat glands, dogs and cats are unable to adequately cool themselves when left in the heat, and their body temperature can quickly rise to dangerous levels. A pet suffering from heat stroke requires immediate veterinary attention, so it’s important that you can recognize the signs of an overheated pet:
- Excessive panting
- Sticky or dry tongue or gums
- Stumbling while trying to walk
- Body temperature over 103 degrees
To prevent heat stroke, never leave your pet inside your car, and don’t leave her outdoors unsupervised for more than 10 minutes on a hot day. While outside, ensure she has a shady area to escape the direct sunlight, and always provide fresh, cool water.
It’s also important to make sure that your pet is in an enclosed area when off the leash. Even the most well-trained dogs can find themselves in a troublesome situation if left unattended. When pets spend more time outside, they have more opportunities to escape. Running free and roaming the streets may feel like an adventure, but it puts them at great risk of being lost, getting into a fight, or getting hit by a car. The blunt trauma of getting hit by a car can cause a number of injuries, including:
- Abrasions and loss of skin
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Head trauma
- Internal injuries and blood loss
Take steps to prevent your pup from escaping. Ensure the gates of your yard are securely closed to keep your dog safely confined, and keep your pet inside during outdoor gatherings when guests will be coming and going. When taking part in outdoor activities, like camping or hiking, keep your dog on a leash.
If you have any questions at all, we’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out, the team at Cardiff Animal Hospital is always here to help.