The heat can be a real danger to your pet. Here are some tips to keep your hot dog (or cat) safe and cool during the scorching Georgia summer.
- Do not leave your pets in closed spaces such as cars. On a hot day, the temperature inside an enclosed vehicle can reach 160 degrees. Your best bet — leave your pet at home.
- Be sure to give your pets plenty of cool water. Carry a water bottle with you if you're out and about and take frequent water breaks.
- Keep your pet well groomed. Cutting a heavy-coated dog's fur to a one-inch length can prevent overheating. Don't shave your pet completely, though, or she won't have protection from the sun.
- Walk or exercise your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler.
- Keep walks with your dog to a minimum. The dog is much closer to the hot asphalt than you are, causing his body to heat up more rapidly. Paws also can burn since they are not protected by shoes.
- Watch out for fleas, ticks and other parasites that can make your pet sick. Mosquitoes can transmit the heartworm parasite.
- If it’s too hot outdoors, bring your pet inside. Especially watch elderly, sick or very young dogs and keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke. Snub-nosed breeds (such as bulldogs, lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lungs diseases should be kept indoors in air conditioning as much as possible.
- Use sunscreen. Pets, especially those with light fur, can get sunburned too. Check you local pet supply store.
photo credit: Mike Pons