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Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in Hot Weather

With the summer season upon us and temperatures beginning to climb, pet owners should take special care in ensuring their pet's safety. Central Veterinary Associates offers these tips to keep pets safe and happy through the hottest days.

Prevent heat stroke and passing out — Older, overweight and sick pets should not be allowed to spend a lot of time outside in the hot weather. Even young and healthy pets should be watched closely to mke sure they don't get heat stroke.

Look for signs of heat strok in your petBecause of their fur, pets are more susceptible to heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke in pets include a body temperature between 104 and 110 degrees, excessive panting, tongue and gums that are sticky and a dark or bright red color, staggering, stupor or seizures. In extreme cases, heat stroke for pets may result in bloody diarrhea, coma or death.

Avoid strenuous exercise when it's really hot outside — The hottest part of the day is between noon and 4 p.m., so that would not be a good time to take your pet for a walk. It is better to exercise your pet either in the early mornings or evenings when the heat is less intense. Also, avoid walking your pet on asphalt or sand, as the hot surface temperature may burn their paws.

Maintain your pet's water supply — Always provide a bowl of clean, fresh water for your pet, both inside and outside. Keeping your pet properly hydrated will improve their health and prevent illness.

Do not leave pets in a home without air conditioning — Without air conditioning, indoor temperatures will reach uncomfortable and often dangerouly high levels. Always keep the air condition and any fans on for your pets.

Do not leave pets in a car for any reason — Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake. Even with the windows open, temperatures will rapidly climb to a dangerous level. Leaving your pet unattended in a car will expose them to heat strok, dehydration, brain damage, suffocation and ultimately death.

It is imperative that pet owners take precautions and special care of their pets during the summer. The hot weather and dehydration can have serious effects on your pet's health so it is essential to provide your pet with fresh wate at all times and maintain a comfortable environment.