Prepare Your Beloved Pets for Summer Challenges and Household Schedule Changes
“Pets bring vital energy to our homes and lives. Pets communicate many messages about love and connection. Care tenderly for all pets throughout their precious lives. The interspecies dance of love softens and expands the heart.” – Laura Staley, Feng Shui expert
If you have pets at home, they’ve probably been thrilled with the whole COVID-19 quarantine thing. They would do anything to spend more time with you, take more walks, and cuddle on the couch, and the whole quarantine situation gave them the chance to do just that. It goes both ways, though, as your pets surely provide you with the unconditional love and support you need to navigate through difficult times—that “interspecies dance,” if you will.
With all of this in mind, we talked to some local pet experts in Lincoln to ask about ways that the pandemic might have affected your best friends. We also asked them to offer some tips for summer pet care and for getting your furry ones transitioned to another new normal, when they’ll likely be alone again far more often than they have been of late.
The onset of summer heat and humidity combined with the transition out of COVID-19 restrictions brings with it some challenges, according to Arnie’s Pet Food Store Owner Dave Titterington.
“Over the past several months, many of us have spent more time at home helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, and our pets have certainly enjoyed the added time we’ve been spending with them,” Dave said. “Daily dog walks became more frequent, as did playtime and cuddling during mid-afternoon naps, but now that we are slowly transitioning back into our daily work routines, our pets may experience some separation anxiety.”
Dave recommends trying some of his store’s full line of CBD pet products from Earth Animal and Super Snouts that aim to relieve that separation anxiety in pets. At the same time, be aware of the dangers that can be a threat to your pets, especially dogs, with the summer heat in Nebraska.
“Be sure your pets have some form of protection from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos, which can otherwise cause serious health issues. The holistic products from Earth Animal that Arnie’s offers are pesticide-free yet provide effective control.”
Keeping your pets well-hydrated in hot weather also is crucial to prevent overheating. If you’re going to be taking your dog on long walks or to visit Lincoln’s dog parks, be sure to carry water with you.
“Pet water bottles and collapsible bowls from Arnie’s Pet Food Store make it easy to carry water for your dog,” Dave said. “If your dog spends time outdoors in the backyard, make sure you provide a source of fresh water at all times. Also avoid excessive time playing or walking your dog on concrete and asphalt. Even on a nice summer day, temperatures on these materials can exceed 120 degrees, which cause burns and damage the pads on your furry companion’s paws.”
Recognizing Behavioral Changes
Dian Quist, who manages Kenl Inn, says changes in your household schedules, like shift changes, going back to work, the kids being home from school for the summer, and the like, can manifest behavioral changes in your pet, especially in dogs.
“Help your dog through this by spending a little extra time with them, going on walks, teaching a new trick, re-establishing door manners or sit-stay prompts when you put the food bowl down,” Dian said. “There are many things you can do during your tasks with your dogs this summer to make them feel more included and less stressed about the changes.”
Set on 44 acres just outside Lincoln on Old Cheney Road, Kenl Inn offers daycare, boarding, grooming, and specialized training for all types of pets. They also carry a variety of pet essentials, from bath and grooming tools to collars, leashes, treats, toys, and chews, which are helpful training items.
With summer in full swing, it’s crucial that pet owners are careful not to let their pets get overheated. Each dog is different, but every owner must learn to watch for signs that their pet is in distress.
“During the summer, you want to take care when walking your dogs that they don’t get overheated,” Dian said. “Know the signs, including excessive panting, long-wide tongue, slowing down, and wanting to take breaks or seek shade. Be sure to take humidity into account, too. It might not be that hot, but humidity can be harmful if you exercise your dog too long or hard.”
If your canine, feline, or equine pet is feeling a little unsettled over constant changes in your life and schedule recently or feeling the mild discomfort from all of those extra walks they get in the summer, CBD American Shaman of Lincoln has dozens of CBD products aimed at helping your buddies relax, manage stress, and provide relief and overall wellness. According to Lincoln Franchise Owner Lance Schroeder, their product line includes everything from full-spectrum and THC-free CBD hemp oil tinctures to canine and feline food, and treats for your cat, dog, or horse.
“Animals have occasional stress, need joint-health support, and have many of the same wellness needs as humans,” Lance said. “So, just as with our human line of products, we use the best of all ingredients for our canine, feline, and equine customers. After all, they’re family, too!”
CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring substance found in the cannabis plant. It is well known for its relief and wellness properties. American Shaman CBD products for pets are all made from high-quality and terpene-rich pure hemp extract, and all of their CBD pet products are made with non-GMO hemp, grown in the USA, powered by their proprietary nanotechnology and lab-tested to ensure that they meet or exceed purity and potency standards. So, what are the benefits for your pets?
“The benefits for CBD oil for your pets are the same as they are for humans, as their bodies and human bodies react the same way to CBD,” Lance said. “CBD may help them by providing relief from mild discomfort, promoting relaxation, managing occasional stress or separation, and providing relief from occasional sleeplessness. It also may provide positive mental support for your dog, helping to improve their mood, maintain cardiovascular function, and help promote joint flexibility.”
Keeping Your Pets Safe
Summer conditions definitely present some additional challenges for pets, and Canine Design Owner Danetta Jensen says it’s important that dog owners pay particular heed to those. For example, grooming remains important in the warmer months…but don’t overdo it.
“During summer, a lot of people think they need to get their dogs shaved,” Danetta said, “but especially for dogs that spend a lot of time outside, shaving will have the opposite effect than you’re expecting. Dogs need enough fur or hair to protect them from the sun because they sunburn just like we do. It’s also important that every pet owner monitor their animals closely for overheating during summer months, especially by watching for excessive panting. Some dogs don’t seem to care that they’re too hot because they just love lying on the hot concrete and don’t always come in out of the heat when they need to.”
If you have a pet with allergies—or you have allergies—it’s also crucial to keep your pets brushed and cleaned in the summer, among other pet-care musts.
“Keeping dogs brushed and cleaned protects both you and them from allergies they carry in and out of the house, and pets with allergies should be groomed more often to keep the allergens off of them,” Danetta said. “It’s also important that you protect your pets from flies, mosquitoes, and other insects throughout the summer.”
We all love our pets like members of our families, so it’s important that we monitor them closely, knowing that summer heat and changes in our seasonal schedules can affect their comfort, safety, and anxiety levels. Watch for signals of distress, and confer with your local pet experts in Lincoln regularly to keep your furry friends safe and happy!