Keeping pets safe in hot weather

Extreme heat can be downright dangerous for pets and animals.

As we prepare for a stretch of excessive heat in our area, don't forget about keeping your furry friends cool.

Here are some tips from the ASPCA to keep your pets healthy and comfortable while the heat is on:

Never leave pets in a parked car.
Ever. Not even for one minute. Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly even with the windows cracked, causing pets to suffer irreversible damage or fatal heatstroke. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. If you see an animal in a car on a hot day, call 911.

Keep them hydrated.
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.

Know the symptoms of heat stress.
This includes excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, abnormal gum and tongue color, restlessness, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Trim, but don't shave.
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but don't shave them. The layers of dogs' coats can protect them from overheating and sunburn.

Be careful on walks.

Try to take your pets on walks during the cooler hours of the day and don't let them linger on hot asphalt. The heat can burn their sensitive paw pads.

Keep specific breeds and health conditions in mind.
Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heatstroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
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