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Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer

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july21homespunweb.jpgBy Marshall Loeb

RISMEDIA, July 21, 2008-(MCT)-Now that the temperature is hot, humans aren’t the only ones who suffer from overheating. Dogs and cats actually have a harder time than their owners staying cool.

If you own a cat or a dog you should take precautions to help your pet beat the heat this summer. Here, from the Humane Society of the United States, are some tips:

- Recognize the signs of overheating. Heat stress in your pet can include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.

- If you sense that your pet is overheating, get out of the sun. You can dump cool water over your pet to gradually lower the body temperature. You should also let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. A dog who continues to exhibit these symptoms should be taken to the vet.

- On hot days, limit the amount of exercise your pet gets. You should be especially careful with older dogs, short-nosed dogs and dogs with heavy coats. A good idea is to let dogs exercise in the early morning or at night when it’s coolest. During the day, let them sit in a cool area either in front of a fan or in an air conditioned room.

- Don’t leave your pet in the car. Cars can heat up fast in the summer, and if left for too long that heat can be fatal for your pet. If you must leave a pet in your car, don’t do it for more than a few minutes. Remember to keep all the windows rolled down a few inches and park in the shade. Also, make sure your pet has sufficient water.

- Refrain from bringing your pet to crowded events such as concerts or fairs. The combination of the crowds and the heat can be stressful for a dog or a cat. Be sure to leave pets at home where it’s cooler.

© 2008, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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