Today on the news was a very sad story about a K-9 police dog which died in the line of duty while chasing a suspect. The high heat index across the country is a huge concern for all pet owners for both indoor and outdoor pets, so I wanted to remind everyone about the extreme heat the country is experiencing and precautions that need to be taken with your pets.
For outside pets, make sure they always have a shady area. Not just an area where when the sun is at certain point they will have some shade. It has to be a consistently shady area. Also, make sure they always have plenty of cool water. Loading their bowls up with ice cubes is a good way to ensure that the water will stay cool. Make sure that their food and water bowls are also in a shaded area and not crawling with ants. Pets can become dehydrated very easily. For indoor pets, make sure they too also have access to plenty of water. Just because they are inside does not mean that they can’t dehydrate from going in and out to potty.
Giving your dog a summer haircut can also help keep them cooler. Take precaution though for both inside and outside pets that they do not get sunburned, especially if you are boating with your dog or playing on the beach. If you use sunscreen on your pet, make sure it is labeled safe for pets. For cats, a good brushing to get rid of excess fur is recommended.
Never leave your pet in a parked car with the a/c off. It can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees in minutes. In some states it’s illegal to leave a pet in a parked car.
Know the signs of heat stroke in your pet. Heaving panting, drooling, collapse, stupor, mild weakness, increase heart and respiratory rate are all symptoms of possible heat stroke. Elevated temps over 104 degrees, vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms. Animals with flat faces such as pugs or Persian cats are even more susceptible to heat stroke so be especially cautious with them.
If you leave your windows open in your house and your cats like to lay there, be sure that your screens are securely in place so they don’t fall out the window. Do not leave open unscreened windows.
Walking your dog is good exercise, but again, in the summer, precautions need to be taken. First off, is the asphalt or concrete too hot on your pet’s feet? They can burn the pads. Also, you might want to think about lessening the walk time so your pet doesn’t get overheated, and slow down the pace in hot weather. Since your pet is closer to the hot ground, they do heat up quicker than you do.
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