Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Keep Cool this Summer

Hot, hot, hot! That's been the average for this summer across the country. California is facing power outages due to the increased use. Here's some tips for keeping your furry friends cool and safe for the summer.
* Outside: If your pet is outside a lot, make sure it has a shady area and plenty of cool water.
* Hot Cars: Never leave a pet in a parked car in warm weather. Cats and dogs can quickly get overheated or even get heatstroke and die. Check with your vet for more information on how to avoid heatstroke.
* Cool Walks: Exercise your pet in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Hot pavement can burn a pet's feet.
* Beach: If you take your pet to the beach, keep it off the hot sand. Put up an umbrella so it has some shade. And give it lots of fresh water to drink.
* Boats: A life jacket for Fido or Fluffy? Not a bad idea when on a boat. But a better idea is to leave your pet at home. An animal overboard often means an animal drowned.
* Pools: A deep swimming pool can be a problem too. Once in, your pet may not be able to get out. It may also swallow some water, and pool chemicals can be harmful to Fido or Fluffy?
So What to do? Here's some fun ways to keep your pet cool.
* Kiddie pools: A great way to beat the heat. Keep a plastic kiddie pool filled to a few inches deep with cool water and some of your pup's plastic toys. Dogs really love this!
* Ice Cubes: Who doesn't like a cold drink of water on a hot day. Ice cubes also make a fun thing to chase across the floor, too!
* Cold Wet Towels: One way to cool an overheated pet is to place a cool wet towel over him or her.
* The Good Ol' Mister Bottle: A few squirts are sure way to cool a hot dog or kitty. Your kitty may not like it, but it's a good way to bring down the heat.

WARNING: Signs of heat exhaustion include open mouth breathing and lethargy. A dog's normal body temperature is 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If his rectal temperature starts to go above 105 degrees, he is approaching a danger zone of heat stroke. He will often be panting very hard, his gums may be very dark pink or even reddish, and he may feel quite hot to the touch. If he is in this condition, soak him with cool or cold water immediately and take him promptly to the nearest veterinarian. This is an emergency situation and requires immediate care.

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