Keep your pet safe on hot days

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Small dog running through field Here are some tips on how to keep your furry friend cool during the summer:

  • Never leave a pet in a parked car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can soar quickly to dangerous levels even if the outside temperature is in the 70s. Leave your pet at home during warm or hot weather.
  • Be sure your pet has access to shade or a cool room and to plenty of drinking water.
  • Exercise your dog early or late in the day to avoid the hottest times of the day.
  • Remember that paw pads can easily burn on hot pavement. The rule is: if you cannot rest the back of your hand on the surface for more than 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.
  • Prevent sunburn by keeping your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and rubbing sun block (that is approved for use on pets) on unprotected areas such as the skin around the lips, tip of the nose and ears.
  • Watch for signs of heatstroke: heavy panting, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, confusion and/or collapse. If heatstroke is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and apply cool (not ice cold) water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body (armpits, stomach, feet) while applying moving air (from a fan or AC vent) to lower its temperature.