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Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Heat Wave

It’s deep summer in California—that means it’s going to be hot. Your pets need your help to stay cool; after all, they’re wearing fur coats that they can’t take off! Here are five tips from a Murrieta, CA veterinarian for keeping your pet safe during the next heat wave.

Provide Fresh Water

Rule number one for keeping your pet cool: provide plenty of fresh water for them to drink as they please. Cool water not only helps to regulate your pet’s body temperature, it keeps them properly hydrated. You can even add a few ice cubes to your pet’s bowl on extremely hot days. Before leaving home, make sure your pet’s water bowl is full.

Keep Outdoor Time Short

Don’t let your pet linger outdoors when it’s extremely hot, as it’s only inviting dangerous and potentially deadly dehydration and heatstroke. Keep outdoor sessions short, and try to exercise your pet outdoors in the early morning or evening hours, when the sun isn’t directly overhead and it’s a bit cooler.

When you walk your pet outside, try to avoid asphalt surfaces like parking lots and driveways. These surfaces can heat up dramatically—and retain heat—during the summer, and it can burn your pet’s sensitive paw pads.

Grooming Tips

Never shave your pet during the summer, as they can easily get sunburnt. You can, however, trim longer hairs a bit to keep your pet cool. A short-clipped coat can help a pet stay much more comfortable! When going outdoors, try applying a pet-formulated sunscreen to areas of exposed skin, like that on the bridge of the nose or along the edges of the ears.

Find the Cool Spots

Make a point to find the coolest spots in your home, and lead your pet to these areas if you think they seem uncomfortably hot. This might be a basement, a bathroom with cool tiles, or an air-conditioned room. There, your pet can relax and regenerate while they cool down a bit.

Dealing With Heatstroke

If you think your pet has overheated and could be suffering from heatstroke, it’s important to act quickly. First, know the signs: hyper-salivation, excessive panting, and lethargy are the initial symptoms of heatstroke. Immerse your pet slowly in cool water—not ice-cold water—to lower the body temperature, and then take them to the vet’s office.

For more summer safety tips, call your Murrieta, CA animal hospital.

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