a pet's life magazine Summer 2015 - Page 26

v-e-t THE HEAT IS ON! S ummer is a fun-filled time for dogs with trips to the park, family outings and lazy days enjoying the sun. However, over-exposure to heat is one of the most life-threatening conditions your pet can develop. The best approach to heat exhaustion prevention is allowing acclimation to exercise on hot days slowly. Make sure there is access to water and to retreat your pet to an air-conditioned area when signs of overheating first occur. Signs of summer’s sweltering effects include heavy panting, hyperventilation, weakness, confusion, vomiting or diarrhea, and finally seizures or coma. Cool the animal quickly by applying cool (not cold) water or wrapping the dog in cool, moist towels. Because of the many problems caused by elevated body temperature, one should seek professional help immediately. If walking your dog, be mindful: asphalt can get very hot during the summer. In fact, it is hot enough to burn dogs’ pads, causing them pain for days. If you have an older or overweight dog, you might want to take only short walks early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are lower. Providing water for your dog is crucial but it is especially critical during hot seasons. If your dog is outside during the day, make sure its water bowl is in a place where he will not tip it over. Make sure there is always a shady place where your pet can get relief from the sun. Kiddie pools are also a good idea! Grooming all dogs, even dogs with short coats, helps them keep comfortable as the seasons 26 apetslifemagazine.com | SUMMER 2015