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How to protect your pets from the extreme heat

by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on July 5, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 2 at 1:53 PM

PHOENIX – When it comes to caring for your pets during the extreme heat of the summer, there’s one important thing to remember: If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.

Just like humans, animals can suffer heat stroke. It can be as deadly to our pets as it is to us.

Monika Sperke from the Arizona Animal Welfare League explained it all to Javier Soto Tuesday morning.

Symptoms of heat stroke in animals are similar to the ones humans might exhibit. Where humans might breathe quickly and shallowly, dogs will pant excessively. Pets that are overheating might also have an anxious look on their faces, a rapid heartbeat, a fever, vomiting and they could even collapse.

Animals exhibiting signs or symptoms of heat stroke need immediately medical attention just like a person would.

There are several things you can do to protect your pets.

First and foremost, never leave your dog in the car. Temperatures inside a parked car can zoom up to deadly levels within minutes. Also, remember that your pet is wearing a fur coat all the time. Dogs with heavy coats and older dogs can be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

While your dog ideally should be indoors, if he has to be outside during the day, make sure he has plenty of shade and lots of clean, cool water. Do not use a metal bowl, because it can heat up in the sun and make the water too hot to drink. Go for plastic or ceramic.

Hydration is key. Whether he’s inside or outside, your dog should always have access to fresh water.

Finally, think about your dog’s paws. They’re more sensitive than you might think. Place your palm on the ground and if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s sensitive paws.

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