Tips to protect your fur babies from the Texas heat

It is that time of the year: We are getting ready to start the summer! While that is very exciting for many of us, it can be scary for some of our pets. So I will be sharing important tips on protecting our babies when they are outside during the hottest days of the year.

One of the most common pastimes in the summer is visiting a lake or a pool, and many of our pups love swimming or being by the water.

If this is the case for your pup, make sure to use sunscreen, especially for light colored babies or short haired babies.

You can use a pet or human baby sunscreen product and apply it to the areas on your pup that are hairless or have thinner hair — like the bridge of their nose, ears, belly, lip area away from the mouth and paws. Do your best to keep your furry loved one from ingesting the sunscreen, and apply it regularly as needed.

When it comes to walking our dogs outside, we have to be extremely careful because our are summers get scorching hot! I would recommend walking your babies early in the morning or later at night after sunset. You can also touch the ground with your own hand or foot first to see whether the temperature of the surface is bearable.

Some people should consider having their babies wear little shoes when walking outside — if the pet can tolerate them, of course!

It is vital to also keep in mind that our fur babies can suffer from heat stroke much more easily than humans. Even though it should be common sense, DO NOT EVER leave your pet inside your car without the AC running — not even for a minute! Even leaving the windows cracked open is not enough; your pet can die from heat stroke in no time.

It is also important to make sure that your babies have fresh water available at all times in the summer.

Summer would not be complete without celebrating the Fourth of July. But the fireworks we often use in celebrating this holiday can be terrifying to some of our babies. But we can manage and prevent these phobias in a variety of different ways. I always recommend consulting an animal behaviorist, but there are some products out there that can be used to manage these phobias, and some of them can be used in combination with others.

The most popular and effective options — that are also more natural approaches — are ThunderShirt, Zylkene nutritional supplement and Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats) products. If for any reason these don’t work for your pet, please consult with your veterinarian and ask for a prescription to help manage your baby’s anxiety.

Lastly, do not forget to make sure your babies are on heartworm, flea and tick prevention year-round, especially during the warmer months of the year. This, along with annual or bi-annual physical exams by your veterinarian, will help in providing the best care you can give to your babies.

These are some of the basic things to be aware of in order to make sure your furry loved ones stay healthy during the summer. If you have a veterinarian, consult with her or him to develop a plan to ensure the best care for your pup or kitty at all times — but especially during the summer months.

If you do not have a veterinarian, do not hesitate to contact my hospital. I would love to be part of that plan of action for your baby.

I wish everyone an amazing start of the summer, and we will be back with our monthly Woof column in July!! Big abrazos, Dallas Voice Readers!

Dr. Josh owns Isla Veterinary Boutique Hospital at 14380 Marsh Lane, Ste. 110, in Addison. Call him at 972-738-1111 or visit