A sPETacular Summer for You and Your Pet

There is no better season to enjoy the outdoors than the summer. Picnics, barbecues, pool parties and basking in the sun are only some of the fun-filled activities to do in the summer, and these become even more enjoyable with your furry companions. While the season brings the opportunity to have fun and bond with your cat or dog, it also brings the high temperatures that may expose your pet to several health risks.

With its renewed commitment to engage the Filipinos in responsible pet ownership through good nutrition and pet care, the Pet Food Institute’s Well-Fed, Well-Nourished campaign shares some tips on how to make each summer destination safe and fun for your pets.

The Great Outdoors

Because of the rise in temperatures, your pet will easily get dehydrated and tired. Watch over your pet. Adjust their play or exercise routine so they don’t get too exhausted. Try to keep your pets on cooler surfaces, such as grassy areas. Exposure to hot concrete or asphalt may burn and damage their paws. They should also have access to cool, shady areas in your backyard. On hot days, don’t leave your furry friend inside a car unless the air conditioning is running and the temperature inside the vehicle is cool. If you have to travel by car, ensure your pet’s safety – it should always be placed in a carrier or secured by a harness while travelling in a vehicle. Pets can only endure a high body temperature for a short time before suffering from discomfort, sun burn, and other severe illnesses.

Though protected by fur, your pet can still get sunburned which may lead to pain, peeling and even skin cancer, so limit your pet’s exposure at 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Pet owners may want to talk with their veterinarian about other options to prevent sunburn.

Pets are prone to heatstroke during the summer and it is important for you to take preventive measures. Don’t let your pet stay under the sun for too long. Provide ways for them to cool off, such as filling a kiddie pool with ice, placing fans for them to lie in front of, and giving them access to lots of clean, fresh water. Watch out for signs of heatstroke which include excessive panting, bright red tongue and gums, sticky or dry tongue and gums, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, collapse and body temperature above 40 degrees Celsius. Heatstroke in pets can be fatal very quickly, so it is important to give first aid immediately. Get the pet out of the heat if possible, such as by bringing it into an air conditioned room or allowing it to lie on cool shaded grass, or provide small amounts of water or ice cubes. Pour cool water over the pet or put the pet into a bath of cool water for up to two minutes, especially if it collapses or if its body temperature rises above 40 degrees. Don’t use ice water and be sure the pets head stays out of the water. Once the pet’s temperature falls below 39 degrees, stop any effort to cool the pet’s body temperature. It is important to administer first aid

and subsequently consult with your veterinarian after an episode of heatstroke because serious health problems can follow even after your pet is back on its feet.

Backyard Barbecues

Barbecues and garden parties are also popular during the summer. If you plan on bringing them with you, watch out for the human food and drink that your pet might consume. Be cautious of plants, flowers and chemicals too. Some plants and flowers, as well as fertilizers, plant food and insecticides may be toxic if ingested by your furry friend. Supervise your pets when outdoors to make sure they don’t nibble on them. All of these items, if ingested, may be poisonous to your pet and can cause depression, heart problems, comas or even death.

Water Waders

If you’re out for a day on the beach or the pool, don’t leave your pet unsupervised. Not all dogs can swim and though some cats like the water, most cats hate it. If you want your pet to swim with you, don’t rush it into the water. Ease them in slowly and gradually. Always keep an eye on them and immediately come to their aid if they have difficulties swimming. Also make sure that your pet doesn’t drink any pool water as chlorine and other chemicals may cause upset stomachs and vomiting.

Stay healthy, stay cool

To ensure that your pet is ready and healthy for hours of summer fun, pay a visit to the vet. Take your pet for a routine checkup and get its vaccines updated. You may also ask your vet for additional tips on how to handle the heat and how to stave off illnesses during the summer season.

The heat may be daunting but don’t let it spoil the summer fun for you and your pet. Cool down your furry friend with ice cubes, pet-friendly ice cream or other icy treats, but always treat in moderation. Your furry friend should always have access to a clean bowl of fresh water to hydrate. Constant hydration and good nutrition are equally important for your pet to stay healthy throughout all the seasons.

To ensure that your pet gets all the nutrition it needs, provide your pets with the right amount of pet food so they receive a complete and balanced diet. Through extensive scientific research and highly regulated requirements, commercial pet food makers from the United States produce products that provide sound nutrition and to support a long, healthy life for your pet.

As the voice of the United States pet food industry, PFI and partner organization Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP) is committed to promoting and encouraging the Filipino pet owners to provide proper nourishment and care to their pets, striving to make them Well-fed, Well-nourished cats and dogs.

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