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Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

Most people love spending the summer days outdoors accompanied by their furry friends. Unfortunately, the summer heat can be dangerous for your pet. Rising temperatures and thick humidity can prove to be very uncomfortable for pets.

Many overeager pets end up overheating, a situation that can end with tragic results. There are simple precautions that you can take to keep your pet from overheating. You can keep your pet cool and safe this summer.


Practicing Summer Safety

It is very important to follow some basic summer safety rules. Avoid over-exercising your pet when it is hot and try to remain indoors in extreme heat. You should never leave your pet in a parked car even for a few minutes. During summer, temperatures in a car can rise to dangerous levels very rapidly.

A pet left in the car can suffer from irreversible organ damage or can end up dying. Watch out for humidity as it can do as much damage as ambient heat. Keep your pet away from hot asphalt to protect his sensitive paw pads.


Early Summer Checkup

It is a good idea to take your pet to the vet for a checkup. If your pet is not on preventive medication, they should be tested for heartworm. The vet can offer tips on how to protect your pet from heatstroke.

Different animal breeds react differently to heat and humidity. If your pet is elderly or overweight, he or she is more susceptible to suffering heatstroke. If the pet has a heart or lung disease, you should keep them in an air-conditioned room as much as possible.


Knowing Overheating Symptoms

You need to know how to identify symptoms of overheating. The symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Excessive panting.

  • Increased heart rate.

  • Mild weakness.

  • Drooling.

  • Elevated body temperature.

  • Bloody diarrhea.

  • Vomiting and seizures.

Animals that have flat faces or short muzzles are more susceptible to overheating. These breeds cannot pant effectively and yet panting is how animals cool themselves down.


Keeping Your Pet Hydrated

Animals tend to get dehydration very easily. It is important to ensure that your pet is well hydrated during summer. Provide plenty of fresh water and keep refilling the water bowl throughout the day.

You can add ice to the water to keep it cool. It is always a good idea to carry water when you go out to prevent dehydration. Do not allow your pet to drink water from ponds and other unknown sources. Stagnant water can be home to harmful bacteria and other toxins.


Do Not Shave Your Pet

Trimming long hair may be acceptable but you should never shave your dog. You might think that the thick fur looks uncomfortable, but the truth is that fur helps keep the dog cool. The layers protect the dog from sunburn and overheating. The best thing you can do for your pet is to brush their coat more often. This can reduce excessive heat.

Provide protection from the sun and heat any time your pet is outdoors. Tarps and tree shades are great for keeping your pet cool and safe. A cooling vest, body wrap, or mat can keep your dog cool.

To keep your pets safe in summer, visit R Veterinary Group at our offices in Columbia, Waynesville, or Linn Creek, Missouri. You can call (573) 245-1027, (573) 346-5733, (573) 443-7274, (573) 774-3337, or (573) 875-7825 today to schedule an appointment.

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