Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

PetsSUMMER_ANow that the lazy days of barbecues and swimming pools are here, you can make them better by sharing them with your favorite pet. By following a few pet safety tips, you can keep your animal friends healthy and enjoy the months of sun and fun.

Never leave your pet in the car.

Though it may seem cool outside, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down. If you need to run some errands, leave the furry ones at home.

Keep your pet leashed.

It will keep her from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make her sick. Even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them.

chihuahua-1351026_640Water, water everywhere.

Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check her water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full. If you and your furry friend venture forth for the afternoon, bring plenty of water for both of you.

Pets need sunscreen too.

Though all that fur helps protect her, your pet can get sunburned, particularly if she has light skin and hair. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling and skin cancer. Keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and when you do go out, rub a bit of sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of her ears.

Say no to tangles.

Keeping your pet well-groomed will help her hair do what it was designed to do: protect her from the sun and insulate her from the heat. If she has thick hair or a lot of mats and tangles, her fur may trap too much heat, so you may want to clip her.

Be cautious on humid days.

Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body.
Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert herself.

Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps her body stay cool, overdoing it can cause her to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure she has plenty of water. If she’s panting a lot or seems exhausted, it’s time to stop.

Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat.

Elderly, young and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on summer days.

Keep an eye out for heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body.

Heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril—with ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot dog-days of summer.

Visit www.nassaucountyspca.org for more tips and information.

Anton Media Staff
In addition to its arts and entertainment publication Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group publishes 16 community newspapers, several magazines, specialty publications and websites. With brands dating back to 1877, Anton has a commitment to deliver trusted and relevant content to the communities it serves.

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