Keeping Your Pet Cool This Summer

Posted: Jul 25 2011

The heat wave sweeping across the nation brings to the forefront the need to keep pets cool. The Post-Journal online offers some common sense tips to help pets and their owners stay safe this summer. 

Dr. William Seleen of the Jamestown Veterinary Hospital said the best advice is to not allow dogs or cats to get too hot.
"The biggest thing about heat is dogs and cats really don't sweat," he said, adding cooling them down can therefore be more of a hardship than preventing them from getting too hot. He said the only way for smaller animals to get heat off is by panting, through the pads of their feet or sometimes the bridge of noses. 

Dogs and cats should never be left in the car, even if the windows are cracked. Dr. Seleen also warns against too much exercise. Dogs need shade and water when temperatures rise. If in distress, he said, pets should be taken to veterinarians. He said if body temperatures are not brought down, pets can go into shock and need to be watched.

It's important to keep pets out of the direct sun. Short-haired, thin-haired and white-haired dogs can get sunburned. If left inside, owners should make sure there is plenty of air movement with fans or air conditioners. 

Finally, take care not to walk pets on hot pavement as their pads can get burned. 

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