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Vet Notes : dogs

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Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

This summer is bringing record heat to many parts of the US. It is easy for us to realize when we are too hot, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell if our pets are too hot. Remember that your pets do not sweat and they are wearing a fur coat. Panting is the only way that a dog or cat can cool down in hot weather. If you live somewhere that has humidity combined with the heat, your pet will have a tougher time cooling down.

Panting works to cool your pet by evaporating the moisture from the surface of the tongue. When the humidity is high, evaporation does not work as well so your pet will not be able to cool down.

If you run with your dog, make sure to take it easy in the hot weather. Running on pavement can be hard on your dog's feet and even worse when the temperatures are high. If the temperatures are ok for running with your dog, consider trail running to help protect your pet's feet from burning.

If your pet is outside during the day, make sure to leave out plenty of fresh water and change the water during the day to keep it cool. Shade is a must. Older dogs, dogs with short snouts, overweight dogs and certain breeds might be more at risk for heat stroke. If possible, keep these dogs indoors during the hottest weather.

And remember, NEVER leave your dog in the car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked.

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