Summertime in the Valley!

summerdog

It’s been a busy summer with Valley Pet Sitting!!

It’s hot, it’s sweaty… we’ve even had a little bit of rain! Hooray!

I wanted to mention some things to remember as the temperatures rise, and how you can help make sure your animals are comfortable throughout the summertime.

First, NEVER leave your dogs in a hot car with the windows up when it’s warm outside. The inside of a car can climb to dangerous temperatures very quickly, causing organ failure or death to your animals in extreme cases. It’s an extremely risky move to keep your animals locked inside your car. Be aware, and find solutions ahead of time so you aren’t in this position. Find a pet sitter or dog walker! *Wink* Here is a useful link to the Humane Society’s website regarding dogs left in cars, and what to do if you see another animal locked in a hot automobile.
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/help-dog-in-hot-car.html

Second, be aware of your animal’s breed and their tolerance/sensitivity to temperatures. The Valley gets incredibly hot, more so than any other part of Los Angeles. We are a big concrete slab, and it’s not unusual for us to have 10 days straight of 100 degree heat. Be prepared with adequate information regarding the caretaking of your pet, and fill us in! We are well informed and prepared to handle anything, but communication is key. If your animal has special needs, please make sure we know what they are. Once we are given specific instructions, we tailor make all of our appointments especially for you, your animals, and your household.

For example, if you know that your dog is a squished-face breed (Pug, Bulldog, Sharpe, Boston Terrier, etc), you know that your animal can’t breathe well in extreme heat. Let us know you would like us to keep their walks limited to 10 minutes, or even if you’d like us to just get a potty break in before we go back inside and play from the comfort of your air conditioned home.

If you’d like us to monitor the temperature of your house, let us know what temperature range is the sweet spot for you. If you’d like it to be no colder than 68 and no warmer than 78, let us know. If you’d like the AC set to 77, the heat (when applicable) set to 67, let us know. If you don’t want us to run your AC, but need us to keep windows open, fans on, etc, let us know. We will always take note of whether or not your home is a comfortable temperature, but without your permission we won’t adjust it. Some people are very particular about their energy bill and we would never assume it is okay to flip on the AC. Likewise, leaving windows open is a safety concern. We will always leave your house 100% secure and locked, so if you would like windows left open, please tell us so that we can be sure everyone is taken care of just like you would.

If your dog has a thick furry coat and you think she or he would benefit from being shaved, or at least a good haircut, ask your groomer/veterinarian for tips ahead of time. Some people think shaving their animal will help them, when in reality, some fur coats are an incredibly useful for regulating their own body temperature. Sometimes just a proper haircut can make a world of difference! Sometimes, it’s best to let it be.

For an alternative to haircuts and shaving, I love to recommend water playtime!! Certain dogs love to chase a hose, or go swimming in a lake, swimming pool, or of course, the Pacific Ocean. Cats can usually do without the water time since they mostly groom themselves, so if you feel like your cat is uncomfortably hot and needs to cool down, I would recommend a cold, wet/damp washcloth to lay over your cat’s back. If she isn’t so fond of the towel laying on her, perhaps just wipe her down a bit. The moisture and temperature of the water can be extremely comforting in hot weather.

Lastly, ice cubes!! Ice cubes are incredibly safe for dogs to chew on… they are a safe alternative to bones, since they won’t be able to get any shards stuck or lodged in their throats, gums, or mouth. Use ice cubes are a treat, but also, give your dogs and cats iced water as an option next to their regular water bowl. And if you really want to encourage your animal to stay hydrated in this heat, I highly recommend setting up multiple water sources around your home and their space. I put a jar of water on my floor by Kiki’s cat food, a jar on my bookshelf that she sits on, and a third by the back door she stares out. Having all of these options makes it easy for her to drink often, and she’s happy to, since there are 3 separate, fresh sources just waiting for her!

That’s my advice on summertime fun and staying safe with your animals in this sometimes brutal Valley heat!! We hope you’re having a wonderful summer, enjoying some gorgeous vacations, and dipping your feet into the cold ocean here and there. Don’t forget to relax, and know that if you ever need Valley Pet Sitting for your next vacation, we are here and ready for you, stress-free!!

 

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