It’s summertime and everyone in Oklahoma is heading outdoors to bask in the sun. This includes our four-legged friends as well. While summer can be a fun time for the family, it is important to take some precautions in order to stay healthy in the heat.

Temperatures in Oklahoma can get into the low 100’s or above, which is extremely hot and possibly dangerous. Sunburn, heat exhaustion, and dehydration are a few health concerns that are taken into consideration as people venture outdoors. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t bother to think about health concerns for their four-legged family members, but they are just as susceptible to health concerns as humans are. Here are a few tips that can keep pets safe and healthy during summers in Oklahoma.

Don’t Leave Pets in Cars with the Windows Up

Many people may think that leaving a pet in a car with the windows up for only a few minutes is okay, but it doesn’t take long for a vehicle to heat up in the summer. Vehicle windows absorb the sun’s heat and act like insulators. A vehicle can heat up to unbearable temperatures in as little as 5 to 10 minutes on a hot summer day. Pets can suffer sunburn and heat strokes which will cause irreversible damage or even death. Even with the windows down, cars can still heat up quickly. It is also illegal to leave a pet alone in a vehicle.

Make Sure Your Pets Have Adequate Shade

This mostly applies to dogs but if you let your cat out, then this applies to them also. Your pets will want to run and play outside, but don’t just leave them out in the sun all day. They need some type of shade or shelter from the sun when they get hot. A tree can provide some shade from the sun. A dog house is a better option as it will provide a place to rest and get complete shelter from the sun while still allowing them to run freely. If these aren’t an option, allow your pet to come inside to get shelter from the sun. If you have a doggie door, this can allow them to come and go as they want without you having to constantly keep up with them.

Make Sure Your Pets Have Adequate Water

Pets can get dehydrated quickly in the summer. Make sure you have plenty of water out for your pets to drink. Keep it cool and clean and in a place that they can easily access. If you are out on the town, on a trip, or any place away from home, make sure you have a bowl or container so that you can pour water for them to drink.

Get a Haircut for Long-haired Dogs

All that hair can overheat your dog. If your dog has really long hair or really thick hair, a summer hair cut can help keep them cool and healthy. Don’t cut it all or cut it too short because their hair will provide protection from sunburns, but cut it down enough so they will be cool while enjoying the summer weather.

The temperatures in Oklahoma can get extremely hot in the summer. Because of this, it can be dangerous to be outside for an extended length of time. By taking a few precautions for your family, including your pets, you can all remain safe and healthy this summer while enjoying the outdoors.

The entire team of professionals at Eastside Animal Hospital is dedicated to improving the quality of life and health of your pet. Dr. Spears and her medical staff provide our clients and their pets the most knowledgeable, informed, and compassionate veterinary care available today. We specialize in wellness and preventative care for both dogs and cats. Eastside Animal Hospital is located in Muskogee, Oklahoma and serves the surrounding communities.

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The content contained on the Eastside Animal Hospital blog is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice on any subject matter. Always consult with your veterinarian when making choices about your pet’s health.