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Hot Weather Animal Care

Pet owners planning to include their animals in summer activities should follow a few guidelines while the weather is warm:

  1. Never leave a pet unattended in a closed, parked car. Animals respond to temperature rise differently than their human masters. Dogs cool themselves by evaporation through panting, not sweating. This method of heat removal is least effective in a closed space such as a parked car. For example, if it is 85 degrees outside, it would take only 32 minutes for the temperature in a closed car to reach 100 degrees. At this temperature pets will quickly develop heat stroke. If you must leave your pet in the car, park in the shade, open the windows and provide plenty of fresh water.
  2. While driving in a motor vehicle, never allow your pet to ride with its head out the window or unattended in the back of a pickup truck. Severe injuries may result when the pet falls out of the moving vehicle.
  3. Limit strenuous activities to cool mornings or evenings. A strong desire to please combined with a weak sense of self-preservation can lead to your dog developing heat stroke during exercise on warm days.
  4. The primary signs of heat stroke include: panting, staring or anxious expression; failure to respond to commands; warm, dry skin; extremely high fever of 104 degrees or more; rapid heart rate or collapse. When these signs are noted first aid should start immediately and includes: immersion into cool water or spraying the animal with the garden hose. This will decrease the animals body temperature. Be sure to contact your veterinarian for further advice or treatment if necessary.
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