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Hot Weather Hazards for Pets

July 15, 2014

Now that we’re in the deep dog days of summer, it may be helpful to have a refresher course on keeping your pets safe! Use these tips from a Fort Collins vet to keep your pet cool and happy when it’s hot outside.

Provide Water

Hydration is key during the hot summer months. Make sure your cat or dog always has a dish of cool, fresh water to drink from, even if she’s staying indoors. Check the bowl periodically to see if it needs refilling or refreshing. You might even slip a few ice cubes in the bowl to keep it cool.

Provide Shade

If your pet is staying outdoors for extended periods of time, make sure she has a shady spot to cool off under. If there are good shade trees in your yard, you’re set. If there’s not, try making your own shade by setting up a tent or awning, or simply hanging a sheet up to make shade.

Watch for Heatstroke

Deadly heatstroke can affect our pets if they’ve stayed out in the humid weather and hot sun for too long. The first signs are usually drooling, panting, and weakness. If you witness vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, or collapse, the heatstroke has progressed. Move your pet to a cooler area immediately, allowing her to drink cool water, and call your veterinarian’s office right away for further advice.

Don’t Leave Pets in Cars

Of course, leaving your pet in a hot car is a big no-no. Even on days with temperatures in the 70s or 80s, the heat inside a parked car can rise to over 100 degrees in a few short minutes. Either leave your pet at home or bring them with you when you’re out, because leaving them in the car could be deadly. It’s even illegal in many areas!

Avoid Asphalt

Blacktop that’s baking under the hot sun can heat up to extremely high temperatures on a summer day. Our shoes protect against this heat, but a pet’s paw pads can easily be scorched by asphalt. Avoid the painful blisters and burns of blacktop by having your pet avoid these areas entirely.

Ask your Fort Collins veterinarian for more helpful hot weather tips to keep your pet hydrated, cool, and safe as the summer rolls on.

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