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Beat the heat!

Summertime is great in that we are able to spend more time outdoors. Even though August marks summer’s coming to a close, it’s also the hottest time of year in many parts of the country, which means high temps, heartworm-causing mosquitos and lots of time at the pool. Here are some tips to remember to protect your pet through these last days of summer.

  • Visit the vet. Make sure your pets get their yearly heartworm and flea preventive medication, particularly if you’re located in one of these hot spots for heartworm incidences.
  • Know the warning signs. Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Don’t forget to protect your pet’s paws! If you think pavement is hot to your bare feet in summertime, just imagine how it feels to your pet! Try to walk your dog in grassy or unpaved areas during the hottest parts of the day to prevent damaging burns to their delicate pads.
  • No parking! Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time (even with the windows open), which could lead to a fatal heat stroke. Take your furry friends home before running a quick errand.
  • Make a safe splash. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and be certain they know how to get out of the pool on their own.
  • Summer style. Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut will help prevent overheating. Shave down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun.