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Friday, June 15, 2012

THE DOG (AND CAT) DAYS OF SUMMER: HOT WEATHER HINTS FOR YOUR FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS WEARING FUR COATS!

by Stay N Play Pet Ranch

Our cool, rainy spring has departed and a hot, dry summer has arrived in Central Texas, which means it's prime time for a few hot weather reminders for our pets. Dogs and cats only have sweat glands in the pads of their feet, so they cool themselves primarily by panting. When it's even moderately warm and very humid, they can get overheated fast. Here are some tips on keeping them safe and cool...  

Make sure your pets have shade and cool water outside when the temperature rises above 80 degrees. If it's 90 degrees or higher, time to let them hang out in the A/C. If it's too hot for you to stay outside for more than 15 minutes, then it's too hot for your pets. They're wearing fur coats!  

A small wading pool in a shady spot provides water lovers a quick way to cool off. Dump and rinse it frequently to prevent algae from growing and mosquitoes from breeding.  

Young and high energy dogs will often play too hard in the hot weather. It's up to you to monitor their activity levels when the temperature is high. Many dogs become "moon babies" during deep summer - they play in the evening!  

If your dogs jog or bike with you, they run a huge risk of burning and blistering their pads on hot pavement. Either adjust your outdoor exercise schedule for early morning workouts or leave your running partner at home.

 Heat stroke can happen very quickly and hundreds of dogs die from this every year, so be alert if your dog is acting abnormally during hot weather. Signs include heavy panting, uncontrollable drooling, a rectal temperature greater than 104, bright red or dark gums, staggering, disorientation, seizure, collapse, and coma. If you see any of these symptoms, wet your dog down with cool (not cold) water, get him into the shade or A/C and transport him to your vet immediately. Even if your dog seems to be recovering, he may still have heart arrhythmias or abnormal blood clotting.  

Do not leave your pets in the car in hot weather! Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can hit 102 degrees in 10 minutes on an 85 degree day. When you're running errands, leave your dog at home or take him inside with you.

 If it's too hot for you to stay outside for more than 15 minutes, then it's too hot for your pets. They're wearing fur coats!