dog summer beachAs a responsible pet owner, you need to be aware of how the warm weather can impact your pet and the extra precautions you can take to keep him safe and happy.

- Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for an extended period of time. On a warm day, even in the shade with windows cracked, the temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures.

 - When walking your dog in summer, walk during the coolest times of day, early morning or later in the evening, but not mid-day. Be prepared and bring a water bottle for your dog. Also, if there is water nearby, have your dog swim (or at least get wet) before, during and after walking, just to cool his body temperature down.

- Be alert to the signs of heat stress which include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.

- If you leave your pet outside or in an outdoor kennel, make sure he has a place to escape from the sun. Leave him with plenty of water. If you are gone for a number of hours, consider hiring a pet sitter to bring him in the house for mid-day (the hottest time of the day).

- Be extra sensitive to heat stress in young, sick or elderly pets. They may be more comfortable in an air conditioned room of your house.

- Consider purchasing a cooling, cushioning bed or mat for your pet. We carry K&H products which are safe for indoor and outdoor use.

- If your pet travels with you in the car, be careful of sun exposure through sun roofs and open windows.

- If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call your local animal care and control agency or police department immediately.

- If your pet has become overheated, you must lower his body temperature immediately by taking the following steps:

  1. Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over his body to gradually lower his body temperature. Get him into a tub of cool water or a lake, if you are near water.
  2. Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet's head, neck and chest only.
  3. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
  4. Finally, take your pet directly to a veterinarian. It could save your pet's life.