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Dog Days – Hot Weather Tips For Your Pet

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Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do in hot weather. These health concerns include overheating, dehydration and even sunburn.  By taking some simple precautions, you can keep your animal companions healthy and happy in higher temperatures.

Your pet may slow down when the weather heats up, so the best time for exercise is in the early morning or evening, but never when it’s especially hot or humid.  Take care not to let your dog stand on hot asphalt, his body can heat up quickly and his sensitive paw pads can easily burn.  Never trim your pet’s coat to the skin, which can rob your dog of his protection from the sun.  Always provide plenty of shade and cool, clean water for animals kept outdoors.  A properly constructed doghouse is a must if your dog lives outdoors.  Bring your cat or dog inside during the hottest part of the day.  Let him rest in a cool part of the house, but first, make sure there are no unscreened windows or open doors in your home through which dogs and cats can fall or escape.

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When traveling with your pet during hot weather, make it a habit to carry a gallon – size thermos of water.  Consider freezing the water for long trips.  Never leave your animal alone in a  vehicle.  Overheating can be fatal.  Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace.

And summers the time when gardens, lawn, and trees are sprayed with insecticides so avoid walking your dog in suspect areas.  If you think that your animal has been exposed to dangerous chemicals or coolant leaking from an automobile, call your veterinarian. 

Some animals will need extra special care in hot weather, especially those who are old and overweight or have heart or lung disease. Certain breeds of dogs, including pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and Shih Tzus, also need extra attention on hot days. If your pet is showing signs of heat stroke or exhaustion, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Make sure your pet always wears a collar and identification tag.

Pets need exercise even when it hot, but extra care needs to be taken.  Limit exercise to the coolest time of the day, early morning or evening hours.

“Protecting Suffolk County’s animals is the only job we do!”

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