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Help Pets Beat the Heat

summer-heatWe’re well into the dog days of summer and the extreme temperatures that occur this time of year can be downright dangerous for our canine and feline companions. Extended exposure to high temps can lead to serious illness or death, so it’s important to take a few precautions to help pets stay safe all summer long.

•Always make sure that your pet has access to shelter.  Shelter provides the much needed shade that protects against direct sunlight. A shady place to get out of the sun is essential for anyone!

•Better yet, bring your pets inside.  A good rule of thumb is that a comfortable temperature for you is a comfortable temperature for your pet.  Turn on the air conditioning to cool down the house on hot days or turn on some fans to keep the air circulating.

•Always make sure that your pet has access to cool water.  Remember that dogs have to pant to cool themselves off and panting causes evaporation, which can quickly lead to dehydration and even shock.

•Give your pet a summer friendly treat! Ice cubes are a fun treat for some pets. They’re crunchy, cold and also provide water.   Ice cubes should only be given under supervision.

•If you live near the coast, take your dog to the beach! Playing in cool water helps keep your pup’s body temperatures down. If you have a pool, many dogs can also learn to enjoy a supervised swim.

•Never leave your pet in a parked car. Temperatures can rise quickly inside a car, limiting an animal’s ability to cool off (as panting relies on air temperatures being cooler).  Much of the time, cracking the window does not provide a sufficient amount of ventilation.

If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, remove the animal from the source of heat immediately and offer water to drink.  You may place cool towels under their armpits or on their paws, but do not immerse your pet in water. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your exhibits the following symptoms; lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dullness or red spots in the mouth or on the body.

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