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Keeping Pets Cool This Summer

keeping dogs cool

What to Know About Heat Stroke in Pets

If your animal does overheat, it’s important to know the warning signs.

Certain breeds and animals are more susceptible to heat stroke. If your animal is overweight, elderly or already has a heart condition, is it imperative that you take special care to ensure your pet is well hydrated and has access to ample cool space.  Symptoms of overheating in pets can include the following:

  • Excessive panting or particularly heavy breathing
  • Lethargy or mild weakness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • An elevated body temperature of 104 or more degrees Fahrenheit
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomit

If your animal exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately and move your pet to a cool, shady location. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water and apply cool towels to her chest or neck. 

Summer is officially here!

For humans, that means better beach days and much needed vacations, but for your animals, the warmer weather can be dangerous. Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion, so it’s important to take proper precautions and protect your pets from overheating. By following a few simple steps, you can help keep your pets safe and comfortable all summer long.  

Beat the Heat

First things first, it is highly recommended that you schedule a visit with your vet for an early summer check-up and ask your doctor about flea and tick prevention. Have your pet tested for heartworm if they are not currently on year-round prevention medicine.

Use these four tips throughout the warmer months to protect your favorite four-legged friends.

  • During the summer months, it’s best to be cautious of how long your pet spends in the sun. Being outside is a great way for your pets to be physically active. However, you may consider only  letting your pets out during the cooler parts of the day. While humans can wear shoes, your pet’s feet are not protected against the hot ground, so it’s important to limit their exposure.

  • Make sure your pets have access to shady spots throughout the day. Especially after exercising, they’ll need a cool spot to rest and plenty of fresh, clean water to keep them hydrated. You can even make some simple homemade treats to help keep them cool, such as peanut butter popsicles for dogs. (Ask your vet about any homemade treats prior to giving them to your pet, to make sure the ingredients are safe for your furry friend to ingest.)

  • Never leave your pets alone in parked vehicles. Even with the windows down, the temperature in a car can quickly reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless if it’s left in sun or shade.  These temperatures can cause your pet respiratory distress and, potentially, serious harm. Leave your pets where they have access to cool, shady spaces and plenty of water to keep them comfortable.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. While many animals use panting as a method to cool down, panting evaporates fluid from your pet’s respiratory tract. If your pet has been playing, exercising or has spent some time directly in the sun, it’s especially important to replace these fluids with enough clean drinking water throughout the day. 

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Testimonial

We were referred by a friend, and we have been very happy with the service. The staff is wonderful and Dr Berge is very caring and thorough, and his prices are very reasonable
Jane 

Jeffersontown, KY

I've been going to Gaslight Square for over 10 years now. I have several other vet options closer to where I live but the staff here has always been so friendly and helpful. It's nice having a place to go that you know has the best interest for you and your pet. Dr. Tom is great and his support staff are always knowledgeable. Even when they are busy they make sure they take the time to answer all of my questions. As long as they are around they will be who I trust with my pets!.

RJ
Jeffersontown, KY

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