Cool Pet Tips

While the summer heat upon us, it is important to pay close attention to your pets’ special needs.

If your pets stay outside you must provide them with a plentiful supply of water. The water bowl should be a large as practical and placed in a shady spot. Make sure it can’t be tipped over, or they could go without water all day while you are gone. One way to make sure the water is fresh is to fasten the bowl to a wide base to prevent tipping and then place it under a faucet that is allowed to drip constantly.

Outside pets must also have shade, otherwise they can suffer heatstroke. It can be a covered patio, awning, large shade tree, ventilated garage, or something similar. You must be sure that the shade is available throughout the day. What may have seemed cool in the morning before you left for work may be an oven during midday. Personally check the temperatures yourself. If they are too hot for you, they are too hot for your pet.

Never leave your pet in a parked car! Even partially rolling down the windows does not provide enough ventilation on a very hot day. Try it yourself. Just sit in the car during the hottest part of the day with the windows cracked. You won’t stay there long. Also, don’t think of leaving your pet in the car with the air conditioning running either. There was a case like this a couple of years ago in Central Florida. The engine stalled and a beautiful German Shepherd died because of it.

Don’t exercise your pets or romp with them outside during the hottest part of the day. They don’t always know their limits and can easily become overheated.

Telltale signs of heat exhaustion are heavy panting, drooling, and a lurching gate. In any case, don’t take chances. If you suspect something is wrong, get your pet to a vet right away. If the worst does happen, don’t panic, but you must act quickly because brain damage can occur. Wet your pet down all over with cool water and place ice packs, if available, around their head. Wrap them in a cool, wet blanket or sheet and get them to the vet as quickly as possible in a safe manner.

Just remember to use the same common sense for your pet as you would for the rest of your family members.

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