Tips and Tricks for Pets When The Heat is On

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Summer’s arrival has brought some scorching days along with it. If you’re feeling the heat, imagine what it must be like for your dog. As temperatures continue to climb, we have some tips to ensure your pets stay safe.

Cars & Dogs

You would think it goes without saying, but please, please leave your dog at home during the summer. On a 75-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well over 100º quickly. Even with the windows down, a dog can overheat. Certain breeds, such as pugs, pekingese and Boston terriers are more susceptible to heat stroke. If you see a dog sitting in a hot, parked car, call your local police non-emergency number. They will send a unit to investigate the dog’s welfare.

Exercise

If the asphalt is too hot for your bare feet, then it’s too hot for your dog. Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. Bring water and a portable bowl with you and always watch for excessive panting. If your dog shows signs of overheating, find a shady spot to lay down and rest.

Leave Fido at Home

We think of our pets as family members and want them with us as much as possible, but summer festivals are no place for dogs. Besides the crowds, sudden movements and loud noises can spook a dog, plus there are often few convenient spots to potty, and again, temperatures will probably be too hot.

Outside

If your dog spends prolonged periods outside, make sure he has shelter from the sun and plenty of water. Add in some ice cubes (frozen electrolytes are great) to keep it cool longer. If at all possible, allow your dog to stay in the kitchen or laundry room where he can enjoy the cold floor. If not, consider investing in a cooling vest with cold packs built into the sides, a kiddie pool or a doggie day care pass for those extra hot days.

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Grooming

While you may think that shaving a dog down in the summer will help keep it cool, it actually has the opposite effect. Your pet’s coat can keep them from overheating. In addition, shaving your pet can lead to sunburn. Brush your dog regularly to remove loose fur, but before picking up the shears, consult your veterinarian for advice.

Know the Warning Signs

According to the ASPCA, signs of heat distress include excessive panting or labored breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling and weakness. More severe symptoms can include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Janet Fazio is a contributing writer for Your Town Monthly.

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