Summer heat: tips for keeping pets safe during hot months

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As summer reaches its peak, people and their pets head outdoors to have fun in the sun. While spending more time outdoors together is a great way to fit in some exercise and bonding time with your pet, it’s important for pet owners to be aware of potential summer dangers.

Here are some safety tips that can help your pet in the summer heat:

  1. Brush or groom your dog regularly: Brushing away excess fur helps pets stay cool because less fur traps less of your pup’s body heat. You can give your dog a hair cut or take them to the groomer more frequently in the summer if they have a longer coat to make them more comfortable in the heat. However, fur should still be at least one inch in length, if possible, to help prevent sunburn.
  2. Provide ample shade and water: If your pet stays outside for the majority of the day, water is essential. Even add ice cubes and an extra bowl on the extra hot days. Tarps and trees are great ways to provide shade. Doghouses may not be an effective way to provide shade, so make sure they have additional ways to escape the rays.  
  3. Schedule activities in the morning or late evening: Although its fun to get tan during the peak hours of the day, its not so fun for Fido. Walking your dog in the morning or evening is most beneficial for your dog because the air is easier to breathe during those times and the ground is cooler on their paw pads.
  4. Research your breed: Certain breeds can be subjected to certain conditions. For example, Pugs and Persian cats cannot pant as effectively to cool down which makes them more susceptible to heat stroke. If your pet is overweight or has a heart or lung problem, try to keep them inside or in a cool environment.
  5. Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car: Taking your pets on your errands is a lot of fun but it could be fatal to them if left in a parked car even for a matter of minutes. Even with the windows rolled down, on a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach a deadly 120 degrees.  Because dogs don’t sweat, panting alone is not an effective enough way for them to cool down when confined in a hot car and every second counts.    

Be smart, be safe and have fun this summer. Visit AVMA.org for additional resources and information. 

Author: pijacadmin | Tags: summer, tips, Dogs, travel, AVMA, heat

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