Dogs and cats can suffer from overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking simple precautions, you can keep your animal companions happy and healthy in the hot weather. Follow these guidelines to help keep your pet safe during the hot days of summer.
Exercise your dog in the cool of the early morning or evening never when it’s extremely hot or humid. Take care not to let your dog stand on hot asphalt, as his paw pads can easily burn.
Plenty of Shade
Provide plenty of shade and cool, clean water for animals kept outdoors. Consider bringing your cat or dog inside during the hottest part of the day to allow them to rest in a cool part of the house.
Never leave your animal alone in a vehicle. Overheating can be fatal. Even with the doors open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace. Parking in the shade offers little added protection.
Special Care Needs
Exercise extra care for the elderly, overweight or those who have heart or lung disease. Certain breeds of dogs, including Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston terriers, Pekingese, Lhasa apsos and Shih tzus, need extra attention on hot days.
Watch for Heat Stroke
Heat stroke occurs when a pet has an extremely high body temperature, usually more than 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs include rapid panting, warm dry skin, bright red gums, vomiting, and an anxious expression or staring appearance. Collapse, coma, and death can follow shortly thereafter. An animal with heat stroke must have its body temperature reduced quickly. The most effective treatment is immediate immersion in cold water. If this is not available, hosing it down with a garden hose may be effective. Ice packs should be massaged gently, and the legs flexed frequently to encourage blood circulation. While this is being done, it is essential that the pet be transported to a veterinary hospital immediately. Heat stroke can occur surprisingly fast. Animals should not be left alone in unattended cars or in a yard without shade & water.
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