Hot Weather Tips

During the long, hot summer days dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do--overheating, dehydration and even sunburn.  By taking these simple precautions, you can can protect your companion animal from the elements and have fun all summer long. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle.  Even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace on a hot day - and overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. Always carry a gallon of cold water for your pet Don't force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Exercise her in the early morning or in the evening, and keep walks to a minimum.Never leave your dog standing on hot asphalt. His body can heat up quickly and his sensitive paw pads can burn. Do not take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for him to drink. Rinse him off after he has been in salt water.Provide plenty of shade and a well-constructed doghouse for animals staying outside. Bring your dog inside during the hottest part of the day, and make sure she has plenty of cool water. Keep cats indoors .Be extra sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as Pekingese, Bulldogs, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 4ANI-HELP if you suspect that your animal has been poisoned.Keep your animal well-groomed to stave off summer skin problems. Shaving a heavy-coated dog's hair to a one-inch length helps prevent overheating. Don't shave the hair down to the skin, though, or you will rob him of protection from the sun. Cats should be brushed often. Bring your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up--including a test for heartworm, if your dog isn't on year-round preventive medication. Ask your doctor to recommend a safe pest-control program to combat fleas and ticks. To prevent accidental falls, make sure all windows in your home are properly screened..