Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems we humans do in hot weather, including heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn. Stock photo: Fotolia

Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems we humans do in hot weather. These health concerns include overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can keep your animal companions healthy and happy in higher temperatures.

Your pet may slow down when the weather heats up, so limit exercise to the coolest time of the day, early morning or evening hours — but never when it’s especially hot or humid.

Take care not to let your dog stand on hot asphalt, his body can heat up quickly and his sensitive paw pads can easily burn. Never trim your pet’s coat to the skin, which can rob your dog of his protection from the sun. Always provide plenty of shade and cool, clean water for animals kept outdoors. A properly constructed doghouse is a must if you dog lives outdoors. Bring your cat or dog inside during the hottest part of the day. Let him rest in a cool part of the house, but first make sure there are no unscreened windows or open doors in your home through which dogs and cats can fall or escape.

When traveling with your pet during hot weather, make it a habit to carry a gallon-size jug of water. Consider freezing the water for long trips.

Never leave your animal alone in a vehicle. Overheating can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace.

And summer’s the time when gardens, lawn and trees are sprayed with insecticides, so avoid walking your dog in suspect areas. If you think that your animal has been exposed to dangerous chemicals or coolant leaking from an automobile, call your veterinarian.

Some animals will need extra-special care in hot weather, especially those who are old and overweight or have heart of lung disease. Certain breeds of dogs —including pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus — also need extra attention on hot days. If your pet is showing signs of heat stroke or exhaustion, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Source:   Suffolk County Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the local SPCA serving Suffolk County.

About the Suffolk County SPCA:

The Suffolk County SPCA provides a variety of services across the county. It conducts rabies and spay/neuter clinics and educational programs and supports senior citizens with the maintenance of their pets. In addition, the agency provides spay/neuter services to tens of thousands of feral animals.

Its civilian workers are volunteers from all walks of life who work on humane support services (free rabies clinics, spay/neuter programs, animal rescue) that the Suffolk County SPCA provides for Suffolk County residents and their pets and homeless animals.

Its peace officers are both active and retired law enforcement personnel who enforce the New York State Agriculture and Market Law with regard to the prevention of mistreatment and cruelty to animals.

The Suffolk County SPCA directly supports the efforts of the various federal, state and municipal K-9 rescue services in the region.

The Suffolk County SPCA is not affiliated with, a subdivision of, or funded by any other local, state or national humane organization.

For  more information visit the organization’s website or Facebook page.


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