Spring begins a stunning transition in western North Carolina that carries on into summer.
By the time we reach May and June, the mile-high mountains surrounding Asheville provide a luscious green backdrop that beckons us to explore every acre. There are tens of thousands of trails to hike, and this season provides the forest canopy cover you need for a break from the heat.
For pet owners, there is comfort in knowing our mountain city is not nearly as hot as our neighbors in Greenville and Charlotte. Frequent afternoon showers also help keep temperatures cooler. However, our area comes with its own set of challenges for your furry family members. Here are six ways to help your pets beat the heat in Asheville.
Six Tips for Helping Your Pets Beat the Summer Heat
1) Help Your Pet Beat Heatstroke
Even in the mountains, pets can get too hot. In fact, the slightly cooler temperatures can give pet owners a false sense of security. Signs your pets are becoming overheated include:
- Excessive panting that does not seem to stop.
- Unusually heavy drooling
- Dizziness and lack of coordination
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Heatstroke can make your beloved pet extremely sick, potentially causing kidney failure, brain swelling, and internal bleeding. The key to ensuring your pet beats heatstroke is prevention. You need to do everything you can to keep your dog or cat from succumbing to it. Here are a few tips to help prevent heatstroke:
- Never leave your pet in the car. Even when the temperature is in the 70s, in your vehicle, the mercury can climb from air temperature to well over 120-degrees in minutes.
- Provide your pets with plenty of water. You may need to double their water supply and then some during the summer.
- Walk your dog in the mornings and evenings when the temperatures are cooler.
- Do not leave your pets outside during the hottest parts of the afternoon.
- Make sure they have a shady spot in the yard for when they are out.
Your dog or cat cannot tell you if they are too hot. It is up to you to make sure they have what they need to avoid potentially fatal heatstroke.
2) Help Your Pet Beat Thirst and Dehydration
Even if your pet is not suffering from heatstroke, they can still become dehydrated without the proper water supply. Furthermore, if your pet's water bowl is outside, the water can get extremely hot and undrinkable throughout the course of the day. Your dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets need plenty of fresh water all day during each summer day. Otherwise, they can get sick, or they will search for water in dangerous places, such as rain puddles.
3) Help Your Pets Beat Diseases that Come from Rainwater
Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be spread from animals to humans. One example of a disease that can be spread from dogs to people is Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is most commonly transmitted through the drinking of contaminated water.
Whether you are hiking or out in the yard at home, help your pets beat the heat with plenty of freshwater so they are not tempted to drink from puddles and other potentially harmful water sources. Make sure your pets are current on all vaccines and ask your vet about vaccinating specifically for Leptospirosis.
4) Help Your Pets Beat Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are part of summer in Asheville. They can, unfortunately, cause your pets a lot of discomfort and potentially even make them sick.
Sometimes, pets can even be impacted by Lyme Disease. Help your pets beat them by asking your veterinarian about year-round flea and tick prevention.
5) Help Your Pets Beat Encounters with Animals and Snakes
If your dog is well-hydrated and protected against fleas, ticks, and diseases, they may be ready to go hiking. However, when the weather gets warmer, spending time in the woods can bring your pet face-to-face with wildlife encounters. We have a wide variety of wild animals in western North Carolina, including:
- Black Beers
There are four types of venomous snakes in North Carolina, but only two in our area. Bites from timber rattlesnakes and copperheads can be potentially fatal for your pet. What can you do to protect your pet from wildlife encounters?
- Always use a lease while hiking or walking in the neighborhood.
- Supervise your pets while they are outside in the yard.
- Make sure your pet's area is open and free of hiding places for snakes and other animals.
- Make sure your pet's rabies vaccine is up to date.
- Follow all guidance on trails and pay attention to wildlife reports in your area.
6) Help Your Pets Beat Asphalt and Concrete
The sun can make asphalt and concrete unbearable hot for your pets. There are shoes you can find to help avoid burns from these surfaces, but the best thing you can do is avoid having them walk on asphalt and concrete during the hottest parts of the day.
If you want to go for a neighborhood walk with your dog, go in the morning or late in the evening.
Hopefully, these tips will help your pet beat the summer heat in Asheville. To make sure your pets have the best summer possible, do not forget to schedule your wellness checkup with your trusted team of veterinarians at Avery Creek Pet Hospital. Contact us to schedule your pet's checkup today.