From dancing around the Maypole, to saying May the Fourth Be with You, May has a special significance in the hearts of cultures all around the world. Philosophers have long contemplated the precise reason(s) for this. In a nutshell, all of these reasons amount to new beginnings. As a culture, we love new beginnings—they provide us with a chance to start fresh, to wipe the slate clean. Or, in the case of season, to bid farewell to the end of a cold winter to welcome the refreshing balm of a temperate spring. Likewise with our furry friends, May invites us to explore the outdoors again with our pets, inviting them to roam with us out in the world. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do this:
- Please be aware of how hot temperatures can affect your pets’ paws. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “when the air temperature is 86 degrees, the asphalt temperature registers 135 degrees.” Many people are unaware of this potentially dangerous difference. The JMAA goes on to instruct their reader to, “place your hand comfortably on the pavement for ten seconds. If it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.”
- While you are out and about, it’s important to remember pets can get dehydrated quickly. It is beneficial to give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Also, the ASPCA recommends to make sure you are always near a shaded area if you do notice signs of dehydration, such as heavy panting, lethargy, or in serious cases, vomiting.
- Taking your pets in for a spring wellness check is highly recommended. Taylor Roepke, Director of Community Engagement at the Tulsa SPCA, mentioned, “Regarding pets that are fostered from us, there are mandatory wellness checks every thirty days, unless there are specific factors on a case-by-case basis.” Roepke also recommends a general wellness check for your pets every six months regardless of the season to ensure your loveable friends are in tip-top shape.
- Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog. The ASPCA reminds readers that the layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. They also say brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
- Did you know sunscreen can be used on your pets? This can serve as an extra layer of protection on really warm days. Be sure to avoid sunscreen for humans that has insect repellent and zinc. Dog-specific sunscreen is also available! Check out our most recent Underdog segment with Opal featured on KJRH in partnership with Ferguson Subaru that mentions this very topic! Cats can be more sensitive to sunscreen, so be sure to check with your local vet to see what they recommend, or call 918-428-7722 to speak to the Tulsa SPCA clinic.
Phew! We know this is a lot of information. The most important rule, of course, is to have fun with your pets! Spring can be a wonderful time of exploration and adventure, and we hope you enjoy it to the fullest.
If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us at 918-428-7722. We would love to assist you in any way we can. Happy trails!
**Please note the Tulsa SPCA is not affiliated with ASPCA in any way, despite the similar sounding names.