Here are some tips for keeping the animal members of your family safe and comfortable during the hot summer months:

  • Limit exercise on hot days to early morning or late evening hours. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise. Also, watch walking on asphalt, as it can get very hot and burn your pet’s paws.
  • Always carry water with you to keep your pet hydrated.
  • Provide ample shade and fresh, cold water. The shaded areas should also provide air flow. In summer, a dog house may not have enough air flow to provide relief from the heat, in fact, it could make it worse.
  • It’s best to leave your pet home when running errands. Hot cars can quickly become deadly, even with the car running and air conditioner on. As an example, on an 85 degree day, the temperature within a car, even with windows slightly open, can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes and 120 degrees after 30 minutes.
  • Learn the signs of heatstroke. They include panting, difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, excessive thirst, dizziness, lack of coordination, salivating, vomiting, even seizure and unconsciousness. Animals particularly at risk include the very old and very young, overweight, out of shape, or those with a health condition. Also dogs and cats with short muzzles, like Boxers, Pugs and Persian cats, have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
  • If you suspect heatstroke, move your pet immediately into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply cool (not cold) water or cloths to head, neck and chest and get to your veterinarian’s office as soon as possible.

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