It is HOT! Hydrate your Pets!

 As the temperatures rise during the “dog days” of summer, pet owners need to take note of some pet-friendly summer rules.
1.  Hydrate!  One of the most important things for your pet during the heat-intensive months of the year is to make sure your pet has access to plenty of water.  The water needs to be changed at least once a day and their bowl should be cleaned regularly to prevent unwanted bacteria from growing.
2. Indoors!  When possible, let your animals stay inside in the air-conditioning during the day.  Dogs in particular are at risk for heat strokes.  Since dogs don’t sweat – their body temperatures rise very rapidly and overheating is a common risk for your pet in hot weather.  Animals that are on leashes outside can also become tangled and be out of reach of their water – causing heat strokes and overheating.
3. No Parked Cars!  Never leave your animal in a parked car.  A parked car can increase 30 degrees in temperature in just 5 minutes…and can cause death in animals.  
4. Take a Walk!  Opt for a brisk walk in the cooler evening rather than a run during the day with your pooch.  The elevated body temperature that a dog can endure during a run in the peak hours of the day can cause stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia or sudden death.
5. Take Note!  If you are hot, your pet is hotter.  Remember – they are wearing a fur coat in the middle of all the heat…so keep them cool.  Look for warning signs of heat stroke in your animal:  loud and rapid panting, rapid pulse, glazed eyes, elevated body temperature, excessive salivation, excessive whining or agitation, staring or vomiting and white or bluish gums.  Only one of these symptoms has to be present to indicate your pet may be in trouble.
Mr. Barry Bodden of Animal House comments on the heat and taking care of your pets:  “Keeping your pet cool in the summer is key to having a healthy and happy pet.  If you have a large dog, a Kennel is a great way to contain the dog inside during the day, in a climate controlled area – and still protect your home and belongings from any damage the pet could inadvertently cause.  Animals by nature enjoy having their own space as well, so kennels are great for this purpose.”  
He further comments, “another thing to be very cautious of during the hot months is the soles of your pets feet.  They can become burned easily if exposed to hot concrete or asphalt.  Owners should try to make sure they have a nice grassy area to walk in when outdoors.”
With a little preparation, you can ensure your pet has a great summer, without overheating or suffering from heat exhaustion.  For more information on pet health care, visit animal houses website at:  www.animalhouse.ky

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