Dog Days of Summer: How to Help Your Pet Keep His Cool

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Summer is still in full swing, and the high temperatures coupled with intense humidity can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for your pet. Follow these tips to help protect your pet from heat-related health issues.

• Hydration during the summer is as important for your pet as it is for you. Make sure your pet has plenty of cold water to drink. In extreme heat, you might even add ice to the water to keep it extra cold.

• If outdoors, make sure there is ample shade. You should also limit exercise and activity on extremely hot days. This time of year, mornings and evenings are several degrees cooler than mid afternoon. Take advantage and walk your dog during these cooler periods. Also, pay attention to the high humidity this time of year. According to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, high humidity can make it difficult for pets to self cool, and their body temperatures can rise to dangerous levels as a result. The HSVMA says a body temp of more than 104 degrees is cause for alarm.

• Know the signs of heat stress. Heavy panting, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, glazed eyes and vomiting can all be signs your pet is in distress. You can try to lower his temperature by placing cool towels on the back of neck or soaking him in a cool bath. But it’s best to take him to your vet to get checked out.