Protect Your Pets This Summer With Water and Fire Safety
There’s a reason why July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. For the United States, July is the hottest month overall. For most states (except Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas) July is when summer temperatures start to peak, humidity is highest, and the temptation to be outdoors comes with the risk of not only sunburn but dehydration and overhydration.
It’s only common sense to keep plenty of water available for pets, whether indoors or outdoors. They also need clean water and clean water bowls, and pet owners need to keep an eye out for any warning signs of dehydration and overhydration. If your dog demonstrates these symptoms, they may be dehydrated:
- Lethargic with lower energy levels
- Dry-looking eyes
- Dry, tacky nose and gums
- Panting or loss of appetite
- Loss of skin elasticity (Pinch the skin between the shoulders or on the back of the neck together; if it springs back into place, your pet is well-hydrated.)
“If your dog has any of the symptoms of dehydration listed above, persistent vomiting or you suspect heatstroke, take [them] to the vet immediately; this is considered a medical emergency,” according to Dr. Jerry Klein of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The vet can help build up fluids and prevent further loss.
Too much water is also a risk. If your four-legends can’t get enough of your pool or garden hose, they may be ingesting too much water and suffering from water intoxication. In this case, you may notice:
- Salivating excessively
- Glazed eyes
- Seizures or even a coma
National Pet Hydration Awareness Month was started to ensure the safety of domestic animals, but hydration is a particular concern in the remote Tribal communities PWNA serves. Some communities have an overpopulation of stray animals – and strays need hydration just as much as household pets. Yet access to running water is not always a given on the reservations. For instance, 30-percent of Navajo residents must haul water to their homes. Other basics that are not a given on the reservations include air conditioning and local veterinary service. That’s why PWNA’s Reservation Animal Rescue (RAR) program supports animal caregivers with essential supplies and services like food, bowls, spay/neuter procedures and vaccinations.
July 15 is also National Pet Fire Safety Day. Be sure your family emergency plan includes your furry friends in case a fire occurs. As the American Human Society reports, more than half a million pets are impacted by house fires every year, with 1,000 fires started by pets themselves by chewing on loose wires, pulling lamp cords, or disrupting electric plugs. Just make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your pets safe.