Summer and sun safety for pets

With sunny days now prevalent, we have to realize that pets don't enjoy the sun as much as we do.

One of my customers lost a bearded dragon lizard by leaving its vivarium outside in the sunlight for only 15 minutes. The customer thought the lizard would enjoy basking in the natural sunlight as it would in Australia, but in a natural setting the lizard would hide under a rock when its body temperature got too warm. When confined to its tank in the full sun, the lizard quickly overheated and died.

Birds, bunnies, guinea pigs and ferrets also will quickly suffer in full sunlight.

Dogs and cats are more mobile and usually will be able to get out of the sun when they are uncomfortable — except, of course, when confined to a car or tied up in a yard. (Never, ever leave a dog in a car in warm weather, not even for five minutes.)

Some dogs and cats with very short white fur can suffer from sunburn on the tips of the ears, nose or tail or on their thinly furred bellies. A bit of sunblock for humans spread on those areas can prevent sunburn in these situations.