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  • Writer's pictureThe Vet Experts

Best Ways to Keep Your Pets Summer Safe

While we all enjoy spending our summer days outdoors, being too excited in hot weather can pose a danger to our furry friends. Check out these simple steps to help prevent your pet's from overheating and to keep them summer safe.

  • Take your pet to the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup. If they haven't been on heartworm preventative medication, it is advisable that they get tested.

  • It's easy for pets to become dehydrated quickly. Give them lots of water when it's hot and humid outside. You should ensure your pet has shade from the sun and that they are not over-exercised.

  • Learn the signs and symptoms of excessive heat in pets. These include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and respiratory rate, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and an elevated body temperature above 104 degrees can all be signs. Be sure to see your emergency vet if you see these symptoms occur.

  • Because they can't pant as well, animals with flat faces like Persian cats, French Bulldogs, and Pugs are more likely to suffer heat stroke. This is in addition to elderly pets, overweight pets, and those with heart or lung disease. Your pets should be kept as cool as possible in air-conditioned rooms.

  • Do not leave your pets alone in a car parked, even with your windows cracked, as it could lead to severe overheating or death. It is also illegal in many states.

  • Keep your pets away from a pool as not all dogs can swim well. Introduce your pet to water slowly and ensure they have flotation devices on boats. To remove chlorine and salt from your dog's fur after swimming, be sure to rinse them off.

  • Pets can be seriously injured if they are allowed to open unscreened windows as they often fall from them. Make sure to close all doors and windows in your home that are not screened in.

  • You can trim your dog's hair, but you should never shave it completely. The layers of the dog's coats protect them against sunburn and overheating. Exercising your cat more often can help prevent heat-related problems. And make sure you read any labels on insect repellent or sunscreen products that you apply to your pet.

  • Don't allow your dog to linger on hot asphalt when the temperature is extremely high. Because your dog is so close to the ground his body can heat quickly and can cause paw pads to burn. Reduce your pooch's walking time during the early morning hours or later in the evenings when it's cooler outside.

  • If ingested, common rodenticides like lawn and garden insecticides, as these can cause serious health problems for cats and dogs. Be sure to also keep pets away from tiki torch products, insect coils, and citronella candles.

  • Keep in mind that pets can become poisoned by food and drinks at BBQs. Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from pets as they can cause depression, intoxication, and comas. Remember that pets should not be allowed to eat the same snacks as their human friends. Any change in diet, even for a single meal, can cause severe digestive problems. Avoid eating raisins, grapes and chocolate, as well as products containing xylitol.

  • When you go to Fourth of July celebrations, please leave your pets at home. Never use fireworks near pets. If exposed to lit fireworks it could cause severe burns, trauma, or even lead to the release of hazardous materials. Fearful pets can also become disoriented and lost from loud noises.

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