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Dog Days

It's summertime, and the living isn't always easy for our animal friends. Dogs & cats suffer from the same problems humans do, such as overheating, dehydration, and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets healthy and happy.

Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle hyperthermia can be fatal quickly. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

Carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet. The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is hot & humid.

Days at the beach are a no-no, unless you can guarantee a shaded spot and a supply of fresh water for your companion. Salty dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.

Fireworks are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day displays. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered area at home.

Street smarts: When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog stand on hot asphalt. Its body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Be especially sensitive to old and overweight pets in hot weather. Keep pets with heart or lung diseases indoors in air conditioning as much as possible. This also applies to snub-nosed dogs, such as bulldogs, Pekinese, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos, & shih tzus.

Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for pets kept outdoors. A properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring your pet inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.

Summers the time when gardens, lawns, and trees are sprayed with insecticides, so avoid walking your dog in suspect areas. These chemicals can cause harm, even death. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call your veterinarian immediately.

Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a 1-inch length never down to the skin, please, which robs Rover of protection from the sun will prevent overheating. Frequent brushing helps keep cats tangle-free.

Don't let them run wild! Unsupervised, off-leash activity can lead to an animal contacting a fatal disease or injury. Pet theft can also be a problem.

A tip for all seasons: if you must tether your dog outside, use a buckle collar with identification tags.

Never use correction collars, which can cause choking.
Make sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in your home, through which animals can fall or jump.
Watch for coolant leaking from your car. Its sweet taste attracts pets, and ingesting just a little can be fatal. To be safe, use animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.
Be sure your pet wears an ID tag or is microchipped. Keep it up to date. It's a fact: A lost pet without a pet ID seldom finds its way home.

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