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It’s Not Cool To Wear a Fur Coat… in The Heat

Keep Your Pet Cool and Comfortable

As the summer looms, take care to keep an extra eye on your pet. Whether you have a cat, dog, or both, either species can suffer unknowingly to you, if you do not keep watch. Cats that love the outdoors need to know they can get back in, and make sure you have an extra bowl of water outside. Ask your children, gardener and anyone else in your home to help you keep it topped up. Dogs obviously on their walks feel the heat ten times more than you, they have a fur coat on, you do not. The Middle East is one of the hottest places on the planet, and we need to respect its harsh, burning climate more so for our pets.

Dogs and cats overheat more easily than people do. Where we have sweat glands to cool ourselves, dogs and cats only sweat from their noses and foot pads. And since the rest of their bodies are covered in fur, heat can be a real problem. Puppies, older pets, and short-nosed breeds (pugs, bulldogs, boxers, and Persian cats) are especially susceptible to heat-related stress.

Luckily, you can keep your pet happy in the summer by providing lots of shade, water and where possible keeping them inside, out of unattended cars, and being observant. Cars are dangerous places at the best of times, let alone in the summertime because the windows collect light, trapping heat inside. Temperatures can build up quickly — on an 85 degree day, a car’s internal temperature can rise to 102 degrees within ten minutes. And unfortunately, keeping the A/C running and parking in the shade does little to keep the heat down enough. Remember – the inside of a car is dangerous AT ALL TIMES!

Many pets, dogs and cats alike, enjoy chasing ice cubes around on the floor. Dogs will often eat the ice, whereas kitties can get absorbed in games of ice hockey, batting the cube back and forth with you. And of course, a few ice cubes are great for cooling down your pet’s water dish.

Pets still need exercise, even when it’s hot. As you know the day is going to be extremely hot, plan your walks for early in the morning and late in the evening, when the sun is pretty much gone.

Sensitive paws burn easily. Water, sand and rock, at the beach reflect sunlight – your pet could get sunburn. Short hair pets and those with pink skin or white hair are most likely to burn. Good tip: check the ground with your bare feet, if it’s too hot for you then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws too.

Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. “Shaving the hair to a one-inch length — never down to the skin, which robs dogs of protection from the sun — helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.

Recognize the Signs

The American Animal Hospital Association® (AAHA) offers these warning signs for detecting heatstroke in your pet:

Anxious expression
Refusal to obey commands
Warm, dry skin
High fever
Rapid heartbeat

If you are in doubt, contact your veterinary clinic or surgeon immediately!

Article courtesy of Homely Petz

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