This summer is bound to be a scorcher. While there are plenty of fun ways for humans to cool off (thank you, One Upland pool!), it’s important to remember that our four-legged residents need to beat the heat too. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of top tips to protect your pet this season.
Slather Up. Believe it or not, skin cancer is as serious of a danger for pets as it is for people! In fact, it is the most common form of cancer in dogs and second most common in cats. Although fur provides some protection from the sun, you should apply a pet sunblock every 3 to 4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies on dogs (especially ones who like to lie on their backs) and ears and around eyes on cats, which are also areas where malignant tumors are likely to show up. (No need to apply sunscreen directly on fur.) Be sure to use products made specifically for pets, such as Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen ($18; epi-pet.com), which is safe for dogs—ingredients such as zinc oxide can be toxic to pets.
Nix the Haircuts. While it may seem logical to cut your pet’s coat short, resist the urge. “If hair—even long hair—is brushed and not matted, it provides better circulation and helps regulate body temperature,” says Rene Carlson, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Soothe Burns Safely. If your pet does get burned, apply a thin layer of pure aloe vera twice daily to soothe the irritated area. (Check the brand with your vet first, for pet safety.)
Walk This Way. Walk your dog (One Upland features acres of wooded trails!) early in the am, or closer to dusk. Avoid the day’s highest heat and humidity, which is usually between 1 and 4 PM. This is especially important for dogs with short snouts, such as bulldogs, who can’t pant as efficiently in humid weather due to their narrowed nostrils and windpipes.
Heads Up for Heat Exhaustion. Beware of your pet showing signs of heat stress—heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, or wobbly legs. If you do see some of these symptoms, don’t place her in ice cold water, which can put her into shock. Instead, move her to a cool place, drape a damp towel over her body, rewetting the cloth frequently, and get her to the vet as soon as you possibly can. A dog’s normal temperature is between 100° and 103°F, so once she hits 104°F, she’s in dangerous territory (106°F or higher can be fatal).
Play it Cool. Lucky for you, One Upland apartments are equipped with central air! Be sure to turn on the AC in your home, especially if you’ll be out of the house for several hours. If it’s too warm for you, it’s too warm for your pet.
Bay Watch. One Upland’s pool is a perfect place for you to relax and cool down in the summer months… just remember, never leave your dog unsupervised near an uncovered pool.
Bug Out. There’s nothing worse than getting an itchy red bug bite, and your pets can suffer from them too! After you’ve spritzed the whole family with Off, make sure to give the pup a spray too – but be sure he has his own can! One option that’s safe for pets: All-natural Heavenly Organic Ecoshield ($10; animalsensepetproducts.com). Its botanical blend of plant and essential oils repels fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. Check with your veterinarian first to find safe repellents for your pet. Hookworms and heartworms are more prevalent during the summer and can gain access to your pet through the pads of his feet. Ask your vet for a prescription to help keep parasites away.
Not-Sharing is Caring. One Upland’s gas grills are one of our most popular amenities; who doesn’t love the smell of burgers sizzling in the air!? As much as we like to indulge our pets (and ourselves!), keep in mind that barbecue scraps and fatty leftovers can give your pet pancreatitis, causing severe abdominal pain or death. Corn on the cob and peach pits are also a huge no-no because they can lodge in animal’s intestines. Make sure you pick up a special, pet-friendly treat at the market before your next barbecue and keep all of your dinner guests happy and healthy!