SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

July 12, 2013

Vet Connection: Summer precautions for pets

It’s 99 degrees out. A heat wave is upon us. We are enjoying the barbecuing, the opportunity to bask in the sun and exercise outdoors for a change. How can we keep our pets from succumbing to the heat and other dangers of summer?

Many of the precautions we can take to protect our pets are pretty commonsense. If you want to be in air conditioning, then make sure your dog or cat is indoors in the air conditioning. Don’t leave them out in the fenced-in yard for more than 10 minutes in the blazing heat. If they are outside for only 10 minutes, they should still have a source of fresh water and shade. A baby pool full of fresh water is a favorite for dogs.

Plan ahead for the groomer and make the appointment. Don’t make the mistake we made. Our favorite groomer is so popular that we should have made the appointment to have our springer spaniel shaved down a month ago. We missed the window, and she had to live through several days of heat wave looking like a furry moppet. She also brought waves of dirt into the house on those bustles of fur. Now that she is groomed, she is so much more comfortable she prances about feeling clean and cool.

In the heat wave, be sensitive to your dog’s need for less exercise. Just because you are paying a dog walker to take your dog for a walk at high noon three days a week does not mean that your dog wants to go on that walk at noon on a 99-degree day. Just like us, they are feeling the effects of the humidity. Also, they don’t have shoes. If they are being walked on pavement, their pads may burn in weather that is so hot. If your routine is changing because of the heat, consider that your dog may also need a change in routine. Plan fewer or shorter walks at dawn or early evening to avoid the heat.

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